4 Similarities Between Strep Throat And Classroom Management

1218347_nurse_giving_a_shotI went to the doctor today. It was the first time I’ve been in over a year and a half. I have strep throat. And it’s summer. How lame is that?

Enough with the complaining, As I was sitting here this evening wondering why my visitor numbers were a bit lower than they have been lately, I realized that I didn’t write anything on here today. Then I tried swallowing again and was reminded of my strep throat. That’s when I began to realize the similarities between me going to the doctor and me learning how to handle a classroom full of children.

  1. I waited until the last minute
    I can deal with congestion. I can deal with coughing. I have been through more than my fair share of hospital visits and emergency room experiences. The thought of someone sticking an IV needle in my arm is little more than inconvenient. As long as they give me morphine, I’m cool with it. Unfortunately, this hardiness can also lead me to get sicker than I really ought to. It’s not that I don’t like going to the doctor, but I like to solve problems on my own.This is what happened to me with classroom management my first two years. I thought I would just figure it out. But I didn’t. It wasn’t until the very last minute and I really needed to move to a different school district that I decided I needed to go around and ask lots of teachers lots of questions.
  2. I got bad news that I knew was coming
    I pretty much figured that I had strep throat. I just wanted the doctor to tell me something different. I wanted to hear “we’ll give you a shot that will take that sore throat right away.” That news never came.Similarly, when I went to other teachers, they basically told me that I was letting the kids walk all over me. I didn’t want to hear that! But I had to hear that. There was no overnight solution to solve the problem; it took a lot of hard work on my part before things began to turn around.
  3. I got a prescription, had to get it filled, and had to take the medicine
    The nurse came back in after running the throat culture and told me that I do have strep throat, and she gave me the prescription. I went to the pharmacy, got it filled, and then went home and had to swallow the medicine.I asked teachers how to solve my problems, they gave me suggestions, and I had to go implement them into the class. Some were not easy. I thought they kids wouldn’t like me. They argued and complained. But I didn’t allow them to argue or complain. If they did, they got in trouble.
  4. I anticipate getting better very soon
    Over the next day or two, I anticipate the sore throat going away. I will continue taking the pills until the supply runs out.Similarly, if I had stopped working so hard on good classroom management skills after I began to see better behavior, I would have never fixed it. I would have settled for good instead of pressing on in to that which is best.
READ  My Education Background

I know a lot of this may not make sense. I haven’t slept for more than three hours straight at any given time over the last 3 days. I’m doing the best I can!

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

6 Comments on 4 Similarities Between Strep Throat And Classroom Management

  1. So how did you get over the feeling that you were imposing all the time on other teachers when you kept asking them questions? I’m afraid 1) they’ll be sick and tired of my questions “uh oh, here she comes again with another question when I have so many other things to do” and 2) “doesn’t she know that? she must be so dumb.”

  2. Hey Carolyn, maybe I can shed some light. I have been in this for over 25 years and still ask questions. It’s the only way to find out. I ask other teachers, counselors, principals, my boss, her boss,… anyone who I think may have a better idea or a different slant on an issue. Things change so much in this business that only a truly “dumb” person wouldn’t ask. I try to make sure that 1. people have the time to take the question. If not, I come back when they do, or ask them to see me when they have a minute.2. I ask in a way that makes them feel that they have the answer. We are all flattered when someone considers us to have knowledge. 3. I ask people who will know. That takes some getting to know others, and their skills. 4. I make sure they know how much I appreciate their time and their talent. 5. I make sure that I can use the answer and then be the sharer if someone asks me something.
    Hope this helps some.
    Tom Anselm

  3. I am a first year teacher struggling with classroom management at the elementary school level. I have some logistical challenges because I don't have my own classroom and travel between classes and schools with a cart. I also have almost 300 different students I see every week. But mostly my problem is that I don't like to humiliate children and make them feel bad, which seems to be what most classroom management looks like. Of course a child feels embarrassed if you administer some kind of punishment to him or her in front of the whole class. But it seems like if I don't do that, the kids will walk all over me and I will quit (sooner rather than later) out of frustration and exhaustion. But is my own survival in the profession more important than kids' feelings? This is the kind of thing I am struggling with.

    Any thoughts?

  4. I am an elementary school teacher who just finished teaching high school for over a decade. I thought I had management figured out for HS kids, kept trying new ideas and trying to improve my skills, but Elementary is a totally different world! Asking questions and observing teachers who do it well, and some who struggle are both EXTREMELY valuable. The only problem is getting out of the observed classroom without feeling the "boy do I suck" attitude. I haven't met a teacher who got annoyed with my questions or with my sitting in on their class yet, and I ask A LOT.

    In response to Ramona's post, I see 680 students some twice a week, some once every other week each as a class (30-35 students.) I found the best thing to do is to have generalized rules and consequences posted up and always refer to the posters. If I notice the class is coming in wild I start by reviewing them. I have what we should do posted up, and in my time out spot, I have the consequences. I found most if the time, my pacing dictates a lot of the behavior. I try to make sure everyone understands the concept and then try to move on, but am finding out that I have to just give information in snippets of 5 minutes and then move on to another activity quick. For example, I teach music. We took 4 class sessions to learn the names of notes on the treble clef. 4 hours of class to achieve my goal of having kids remember the spaces spell the word FACE, and the lines can be remembered by Every Good Bear Deserves Fish (girls objected to every good boy does fine . . . grr!) I will probably take 2 more class sessions reviewing and reinforcing something that my HS teacher brain is screaming at me thinking it should only take one class. I spend 5-10 minutes on the review, then we sing a song, or do a dance, or play recorders to reinforce the concept. I would go back and forth between concept/Activity/Concept/Activity, etc so that I have a bunch of short snippets.
    I don't have it down yet, but its coming.

    My first suggestion is observing others, then recording yourself. (very painful process!)

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