One of the biggest things you hear as a teacher is the idea of classroom management. That’s in a sense what I’m going to talk about today, but I’m going to spin it on its head a little bit.
As a teacher, you’re expected to have a system of classroom management. It’s one of those “hot-button” issues everyone hears about in the education field. But most of the time, you’re not expected to have complete classroom control. Let me explain what I mean.
Classroom management is about being proactive. It’s about having a system in place to ward off most issues and easily redirect back to where you need to be. It’s being in a fenced-in yard, where the students have room to move before they hit the fences and the lines.
On the other hand, classroom control, in my opinion, is about having such a grip that nothing can get through. There’s no room for students to breathe and be themselves. I had a teacher I worked under while I was in college that didn’t want her 6th graders to talk in class at all. They’re 6th graders. If you don’t want them to talk, then you won’t be getting anything else done. Trust me. I had a student get in trouble in that classroom because they were asking me to help them understand the assignment.
This extends not only to a classroom, but to all parts of life as well. If you try to control everything that happens, you’re going to spend all of your time making sure everything is in order. You then forget to live. Rather, if you try to manage your life and understand that some things that happen to you are out of your control, you’ll be much happier and less anxious.
I am so thankful that I have a supportive administration. I’m expected to manage my classroom and keep a decent sense of order, but if things get out of my control, I know I’m not alone. Such is true with life as well. You’re not alone when things get out of your control. Hopefully you’ve got a great support system or a therapist or people you can turn to for help.
I think one of the worst atrocities society has committed is making everyone feel like they have to do everything alone. No one is alone. But yet somehow you look weak if you reach out for help. That’s seriously dumb. Different people have different strengths. By combining with other people, you’re able to cover your weaknesses and help each other.
It’s been drilled into my head recently that I am not alone. I have people around me, whether in or out of the workplace, who are more than willing to help when I ask. And I’m sure you do too.
You don’t have to be in control. If you’re trying to operate under the illusion of control, then you’ll never have it. Things will spiral out faster than you can believe. But, if you accept that you can only manage certain areas, you’ll find that things go wrong less often.
One thing I’ve been working on lately is some guided meditation. Everything is going okay for right now, but I want to develop the managerial habit once I feel things start spiraling. If I can meditate and ground myself when things are easy, hopefully it’ll be easier when things are hard. I don’t expect to control every bad thing that happens to me. I know a lot of things are out of my control. However, if I can manage my response when those things happen, then I’ll feel more in control. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it? Managing leads to control, and control leads to micromanage.
Like with many things, this is something I’m still working on. But as I’m learning and figuring things out, I want to pass this knowledge along to you as well. Hopefully, you can find this to help you out when you need. After all, that’s what managing is about.