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It’s Time For An Attitude Adjustment

302199_adjust_buttonWe put a sign up a few places around the band hall on Wednesday. It says:

Choose Your Attitude
:) :(

I decided that I needed to take that advice myself. So I am going to adjust my attitude.

I was reminded yesterday just how different 7th graders are than 6th graders. I said something to one of my favorite students (yes, teachers have favorites) in class. It wasn’t intended as a rude remark, but it was sarcastic. She obviously took it the wrong way, and she began crying. There was no sobbing or anything, but there were definitely tears.

That tore me up. Then I was at church that night. We were studying Galatians 5:16-26. The last verse jumped out and hit me like a ton of bricks.

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:26)

I realized right then that a whole lot of the humor that I use in class is done to provoke the students. It’s never done with rude intentions, but it is done. So I have decided that it is time to stop that.

As I mentioned yesterday, I try to be very respectful with the students. If I am rude or sarcastic, then no amount of manners will be able to overcome that. It also leads the students to be afraid of me more than I would like for them to be.

So I think that I will tell my classes about my plan today and have them call me on it when I am being sarcastic. Kids are good about playing games like that to see when someone else messes up. I’m actually thinking about putting some money on the line. Each student I am rude or critical to will get $1. That will put an end to the critical attitude very quickly. What do you think?

Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) 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. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

One thought on “It’s Time For An Attitude Adjustment

  1. Thanks for the encouraging word. You might be better off having another teacher hold you accountable than setting up the students as your judges, which could lead to other miscommunications.

    Be encouraged that kids will remember how you made them feel more than individual instances or interactions.

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