teachin' school

teaching tip 64. don’t take it personally. 

don’t take it personally.  this is harder said than done.

at least once a year, i get caught up in my feelings and break down. last year, it was on a day that I really shouldn’t have been at work in the first place. i was so sick. i should have called in and stayed home. (side note: read this teaching tip about staying healthy.)  but i didn’t have emergency sub plans. i never do. i’m always confident that i’ll figure it out and not waste a day doing some random emergency plans.  i still haven’t learned this lesson yet.

but this day…i should have thrown it away. an especially challenging student had it out for me.  i let her get to me.  and i let her know it.  my assistant principal was there and knew how to handle it.  he also sent me home and told me i shouldn’t have come to school.  the girl ended up feeling terrible because she knew she was in the wrong.  she never apologized though.  it wasn’t her way.

i waited her out though.  i was patient and never again let her see that her snarky comments and outright meanness were getting to me.  sometimes i even ignored her.  i eventually started joking with her saying “i know you hate me, but could you please ___”.  the first time, she was a little shocked.  then she would say every time, “i don’t hate you”.  by the end of the year, we had a good relationship.  still do.  i never thought that would happen.

don’t take anything they say in anger or frustration too seriously.  usually it’s not about you.  remove yourself or the student to avoid losing the power and control of the situation.  sometimes it’s as easy as that.  try to create a shield for yourself until it’s “safe”.  and never give up.

now, when it comes to adults…that’s a little harder to deal with.  they should know better, right?  usually they don’t.  try not to get pulled into anyone trying to manipulate you or situations.  that’s what they want.  and if they make it personal, you make it all business.

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