Yesterday in my Classroom Management course, teacher candidates were discussing the Three Dimensions of Discipline found in the book Discipline with Dignity: New Challenges, New Solutions by Curwin, Mendler, and Mendler (2008). The first dimension, The Prevention Dimension, has 7 key points. One key point mentions how to handle conflict with students.
Together, we brainstormed how they see themselves handling conflict with their future elementary students. They tapped into all the information gleaned from this course and gave excellent examples. It was a proud moment for me. 😊 Then, the discussion landed us on a chat about the teacher’s lounge. You can about imagine where that conversation took us. Yikes…
I mentioned to them I believe THEY are experiencing conflict in their lives right now. This turned the focus of the discussion onto them, so I asked these teacher candidates how THEY are handling their life conflicts. How are they dealing with their stresses?
One stressor they are coping with this semester is worrying about getting their field experience hours completed. COVID is playing havoc on their field experiences with schools closing down for weeks at a time.
“What are we going to do if we can’t complete our hours?” they question with sincere concern in their voices.
Another stressor they are dealing with is they are in their methods year, which can be quite intense with several assignments from each methods class…sometimes all due on the same day. They have lessons plans to write and lessons to teach and research papers to write and presentations to give and articles to critique and edTPA commentary to review. They begin to doubt their abilities.
Dog pile on top of all that, the majority of my teacher candidates work an outside job to help pay tuition. That’s a lot. That’s a lot for any of us.
So…back to my question directed at my teacher candidates. How are they handling all this personal conflict? The number one answer from all of them in this class was…
They vent! They vent to each other (and sometimes to their mom).
They talk it out and when they realize they aren’t alone and know others are going through the same thing, it surprisingly helps them calm down. They have become family. I told them it was okay to vent.
One of the teacher candidates shared with the class she cries a lot. I told her it was okay to cry. And then I said to them: “It is going to be okay.” This same teacher candidate who said she has been crying a lot, asked if she could get that recorded for proof. I smiled and told her of course she could. She pulled out her phone, and I said it again only this time with a little more power…
IT’S GONNA BE OKAY! (Maybe I made it on Tik Tok??). 😉
Tasha Layton’s song came into my thoughts after I spoke those words out loud, so I started to sing these lyrics to my teacher candidates…
It’s gonna be okay
It’s gonna be okay
You’re gonna be okay!
You got this, teacher candidates. 💪💪 Air hugs for all of you! 🤗 It’s gonna be okay. 🤎💛