In his book, Hardy writes that even small changes to your routine or your thinking can have a huge impact on the future outcomes. In chapter 2 of his book, where he writes about choices, he says:
If I always took 100 percent responsibility for everything I experienced--
completely owning all of my choices and all the ways I responded to whatever
happened to me--I held the power. Everything was up to me. I was
responsible for everything I did, didn't do, or how I responded to what was
done to me.
This was what I needed to hear to snap me out of my funk! I was playing the victim.
I was frustrated with my class and was blaming them for their poor behavior....and yet, deep down, I knew that I was at least partly to blame--Had I been consistent? Had I followed through with consequences? Was I being a good model of positive behavior?
I decided right then that I was going to change the way I responded to my class. I would give them 100% even if they gave me nothing in return. As I reflected on the past month, I realized that I had been focusing on their negative behaviors instead of the positive. I had been telling the kids everything they were doing wrong and I was forgetting to tell them what they were doing right!!
So yesterday I walked into my classroom with a new jump in my step. I bought a roll of blue tickets (and called them Caught-ya Cards) and some small prizes for my new prize drawers. For the whole day I was going to catch my students doing the right thing!
When students walked in the door, I shared my plan with them. I apologized for finding all their faults; I intrigued them with my prize drawers; I complimented them on their wonderful behavior. And do you know what happened?
We had the BEST day!! Kids and Teacher were happy! We worked together in a way that I knew we could but hadn't seen in a while. The power of taking responsibility for my own actions and using positive reinforcement to engage my students changed the energy in my classroom almost instantly.
Today will be another new day. I look forward to seeing my students this morning and continuing what we started yesterday. Although April seemed to be the month that would never end, May looks bright and sunny. I will give 100%!
--Thank you for following my blog. I apologize for the inconsistent postings. As I get better at blogging and creating a schedule for myself, I hope to improve the consistency of my writing! Thanks for hanging with me!!