In my previous entry, I talked about being more positive.
Of all the years so far that I have taught, this method of positivity is helping me. I don't like to be angry. I don't like who I am when I am angry. If I get upset or angry at one class, I am more likely to get angry at another class. If I'm angry at a class, I am more likely to go home and get angry with my wife or with friends! No thanks!
So I'd rather encourage my students through my positivity to stay positive. If I model the behavior I want them to perform, I am providing them with a valuable resource on behavior that they might not have in their lives. They can learn how to behave if I am positive and in that way, I don't lose any sleep or hair over the classroom management. Sure we'll still have problems once in awhile. But what class doesn't have one single problem? We can learn from problems and they can offer us teachable moments to talk about something important in the students' lives as well. We are teachers of the subject as well as teachers of how to interact with the world. My curriculum is the students and their lives.
Thankfully through TPRS, I've been able to merge that with Spanish.
I remember learning about different classroom management techniques in college while I was in my 3rd year of teaching already. I thought that the majority were completely bogus. It bothered me to think about being positive to students and reward them. My question has always been, "What police officer stops you for NOT speeding and gives you a sucker?" They only enforce the rules when you break the law because you're not following the rules.
But maybe I was thinking about that all wrong. I do not know a lot about my students' home life. I do not know what kind of influences they have in their lives. Perhaps I can teach them how to behave though through positive means.
In future years, I would like to do a system with Señor Bucks where students can get those to purchase items in class for doing something like paying attention well or volunteering or always answering questions. Then they can cash them in for different perks. I might try to start it after Christmas to give it an easy starting point and time to plan the different perks. I do prefer positive reinforcement not to bribe students, but instead to teach them the right thing to do.