Yesterday was one of those days that I don't enjoy looking back because of the despair I felt at work. I hear some abusive words from kids. Where do those painful and abusive words come from? Don't they come from the mouth of us, grown-ups. It is the chain of harmful words. I hear teachers say, "Why don't you understand such an easy instruction?" "Are you an idiot?" "Shut up!" without any reasons explained to the kids. I completely understand classroom management in a large class is challenging and stressful especially when you need to deal with that all day long. And those 6th graders can be a pain in neck. But abusive words can't stop anything. In fact, they feed only negative and painful vocabulary to the dictionary of our kids. It is true that the world can be brutal and harsh and kids might need to deal with that but I keep thinking what if kids didn't know those harsh and abusive expressions but knew more and more encouraging, supportive and soft words like music to our ears. Words and moods are much more contagious or influential to us than we imagine. For instance, when I feel relaxed and fine, my words become more inviting and cheerful. when my words become more cheerful, Momo, my daughter acts better and nicer. When she is cheerful, more laughters happen among us. And the other way around is the same. I am not saying that we should ignore something unpleasant or abusive incidents in our lives because there are always some. But by focusing on such events, you become bitter and gloomy and your words usually coincide your mood. Then the painful chain of abusive words take place.
In order to have kids listen to you, perhaps giving them a little time to calm down especially after exciting activities is a better idea than throwing bitter and abusive words at them like, "Shut up! Otherwise, you are out!" " Shut up! Get out of here! You don't know when to stop!" I had enough of those heartbreaking words at work. It really break my heart because those words kill all the pleasures kids had during the activities that they felt excited. It is like feeding kids cake and telling them how bad the eating cake is. It is such a wrong message. One of the teachers say, "Ok, we had fun, Now let's listen to another one. Ok?" He has much better classroom management. It makes sense to kids. And I don't have to stand like an idiot while my team-teacher is screaming at those poor kids. I heard one of the teachers shouted at a girl, "We don't need a person like you! Get out of here!" It was harsher than what the girl mumbled. I felt so awful because she said something childish ( but she is a child and that's what she is supposed to say.) like, "You had a hard luck."to one f her classmate in a pair work. Maybe the teacher meant to shout at me for doing something inappropriate. But in any cases, shouting at the girl in front of the class and killing all the joy all the students were sharing at the moment was inappropriate to me. Whatever the problems she has in her daily behavior, I can't imagine such abusive words can grow anything healthy. I think inspiring and nurturing words can only touch our soft part of the hearts and grow more of empowering words there. What this girl need to empathize how her classmate would feel if she calls him a had luck. Empathy is something kids need to learn in the course of their development. And it is our responsibility to make sure that they learn empathy.
Some days, it is so challenging to be careful with my words. I get tired and stressed out and my words become unkind. For those days, I should remember the face of every kid when the harsh words were poured onto her / him - the most confused, embarrassed and despising faces. After all, I can't change anything nor anyone but myself. I would love to have a circle of musical and inspiring words around me :-)