Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Five New Years Resolutions for Teachers in 2015

RESOLUTION#1 - Refrain from using a loud voice
Children learn how to communicate by the models teachers set for them. As often as possible, when you need your children’s attention or cooperation, get to their eye level and speak in a calm and respectful tone. The more often you do this, the more likely you are to create peace and calmness in your classroom and your children will do the same.

RESOLUTION#2 – Use the word COOPERATION often
When you need your children to comply, initiate it by announcing, “I need your cooperation.”  When they follow through, thank them for cooperating with you.  When they need you do something for them, confirm their request by saying, “Oh… you need my cooperation.  I’d love to cooperate with you.”  Use that word in association with requests from other adults in the school so the kids will see it often.

RESOLUTION#3 – Let go and avoid controlling the outcome all the time
We’re constantly trying to get so much done in so little time and on schedule.  When children move too slow or don’t put a piece of clothing on correctly, it annoys us and we take over to have things according to our desire.  At least once a day, let something a child does be the way she did it.  Avoid correcting her, re-doing something, taking over for her, or arranging all the outcomes.

RESOLUTION#4 – Celebrate moments of independence
You’re getting ready to leave the classroom and you noticed that one child has buttoned her own jacket but the buttons are misaligned.  Or she put her coat on by herself but it’s inside out. For just once, avoid correcting the situation. Don’t re-button her jacket or adjust her sweater. Instead, make a big deal of what she did on her own. You can adjust things later but for the moment, celebrate her self-sufficiency.

How to Create Calmer Classrooms

RESOLUTION#5 – Stay calm when a child begins to argue
When a child becomes persistent in trying to convince us of something, we can easily get pulled into an emotional debate. Sometimes our own older children who feel they can approach us about anything and know they are being heard, consider their relationship with us stronger. Commit to not getting angry in these moments and be there 100%. If the child (or your own) has made a good case, give in once in a while if appropriate.  If you’ve had enough of the bantering, end it calmly and walk away. Know that it’s normal behavior.

Bill Corbett has a degree in clinical psychology and is the author of the award winning book “Love, Limits, & Lessons: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Cooperative Kids,” in English and in Spanish.  He is happily married with three grown children, three grandchildren, and three step children and resides in Connecticut.  You can visit his Web site www.CooperativeKids.com for further information and parenting advice.


  1. What a GREAT post- and great reminders. I feel like we would all be better teachers is we printed this out and read it each morning! Thank you for the post!

  2. Thank you for reading it Carol! Happy New Year!!


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