Stay Even-Keeled about Things

Back when I was an English teacher, one of the things I came across in professional development as it related to classroom management was the idea of doing a “Monday-morning playback” for things that teachers encountered in the classroom that we could either pat ourselves on the back for or learn some lessons from so that we could make improvements the next time we encountered similar things.  The idea of “Monday-morning playback” is taken from sports, like football, where the coach and/or the players examine tapes from previous games (like from Sunday).  From these tapes, the coaches and players could learn what went right and what went wrong—and then apply these assessments to their practices and future games.  Like competitive athletes, we (as teachers, parents, and people who seek to always improve our practice) can learn a thing or two from our mistakes and our strengths from the past—and we can apply our expanding knowledge to future situations so that we aren’t making the same mistake too many more times than is necessary for us to “get it” and then move on and up.  One of the most important lessons we can learn in life (and in parenting, in teaching, and in any other role we find ourselves in) is to stay even-keeled about things.  As we are reflecting on something that we faced yesterday or earlier in the day, there’s a good chance that we’ll be able to find something in that space of time that we could have reacted to less, and instead we could have dialed things back a notch to just stay in the calm zone.  It doesn’t matter what is going on around us—and this is important to grasp when we are dealing with our children (or our students).  We are the ones who have control over how we handle a situation.  We know that our children (or our students) will always end up doing something that is quite infuriating—it’s the nature of dealing with children and working in an educational environment.  Kids are going to be kids.  So if we can get out in front of it and just know this, then it helps us to retain our composure (and our humor) when things happen that rock the boat of the day.    

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