Archive for February 23rd, 2006

February 23, 2006

The gift that made my month – a painting of my yongest son and me

by Rod Smith

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February 23, 2006

I need my space…..

by Rod Smith

“I need my space” are some of the toughest words a partner can hear. They ought to be used with great caution. The short utterance can emotionally disable a person and send them into a rapid emotional, even physical, decline.

Asking for space always raises questions:

Does that mean you want out?
Does that mean someone else has come along to occupy my space?
When did I begin to be in “your space” in a manner that was uncomfortable to you?
How long have you been “putting up” with me?
How long have you been planning this?
Why did not you tell me earlier?
Don’t you see this is very unfair since you have been thinking this a long time and have all you plans in place while I am taken by surprise?
We have been doing this, this way for a long time.
I thought you supported the way we operate?

Telling someone with whom you have shared life that you need space might be met with utter confusion. When a partner “needs space” a sudden vacuum enters and one or both people no longer know exactly how to behave with each other anymore.

February 23, 2006

A message to teachers…

by Rod Smith

Make neither the child you teach nor his parents into your enemy. Contempt, even slight contempt, for your students and their families, will not further the honorable goals of a good teacher, but infect the classroom environment to the detriment of all.

No matter how poorly students or their parents might behave, you will not be capable of effective teaching if you engage in conflict with members of your school’s community. There are many, and complicated, reasons that children (and their parents) misbehave.

Teachers, being as close, and as involved as they are to families, can frequently become the most convenient of targets for the frustrations of both the children and their parents.

Don’t take it personally. Don’t allow a child’s or a parent’s aggression to succeed in engaging you in conflict. Fighting with the children you teach, or their parents, will not do you or anyone any good at all.

Aggression, like anxiety, is contagious. It immobilizes, polarizes, and has no redeeming qualities for the classroom teacher. You, the teacher, are the professional in your field. It is hard to learn from an enemy (real or perceived) or in the presence of one. You are called to be above engaging in conflict with your student and parent community.