If you don’t like discipline, then right away you are in a losing battle with your students. Anything worthwhile takes discipline to accomplish. Discipline involves a set of rules that you have to follow even when you don’t want to. Discipline is in place so that your students can take those necessary, and painful, action steps toward their learning. Let me clarify painful; we are not talking torture here. Pain can come in the form of wanting something pleasurable now when you can’t have it yet. Most students feel some pain daily, as they really don’t want to get out of bed so early, for example. Are you going to just let them stay in bed all day? No. Should their parents? Absolutely not. So, I ask you to understand that there will be pain in your classroom. The better teachers deliver a lot of pain in their classrooms. This is no different than a personal trainer that gets their clients to exceed their goals; there is going to be some real pain. This pain is designed to grow the student.
I started every semester the same way: All Pain! This was a calculated move on my part, as I started to realize that going soft on kids the first days of school was a waste of valuable time. What are we waiting for? Did they accidently get to school, pick up their schedule, and fall into your class? No, they did it purposefully. I get that no one wants pain, but my job was to educate my students. So, the first day, I would hand them more material than they could mentally handle. I would just keep piling on the handouts and packets until even the smart kids were damn near in shock. Then, I would toss them a heavy ass World History book. That was the back breaker. I could see kids mentally trying to find God, wishing for my death, or waiting for the opportunity to text their mom to fly the coop.
My method was simple. Even the hardest things, once mastered, will get easier. Starting out easy was not going to help them understand the discipline needed to be successful and become a better-educated student. Nothing is easy on the first day. In fact, if it were too easy, you’d think you were robbed. If it is too hard, you will run away. With the law on my side, where could they go? HA-HA! Seriously, my point, which they understood in a few months, was that they could survive, and start to control their own educational destiny. As their friends that jumped ship early on started to complain about their new landing spot, because it was becoming harder, my kids were adjusted to the level and expectations. Remember, your students will be out in the real world in four short years; you don’t have time to go easy on them.
This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.
Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.