It's a staple of good parenting, and of good teaching.... Be sure and model the behavior you want your kids to demonstrate.
So when teachers use sarcasm and bullying tactics to get their message across, how can we be surprised when these same kids are disrespectful and detached?
When we teachers seem bored with our lessons, when we lack passion and deep understanding of our discipline, how can we be surprised when our students' approach to learning is joyless?
It's a fundamental truth in my classroom: as I implore my students to work hard to stay in control - to choose more appropriate ways to handle their anger - I have to be vigilant as I deal with my own frustrations in the classroom. No yelling. No physical outbursts, no banging on a desk or slamming a door. No threatening. No blaming others.
It's no wonder I go home somedays and feel completely exhausted. Keeping my emotions in check when so much around me is chaotic is draining. Sometimes, at the end of the day, my voice is raspy and strained; not from raising my voice, but from working so hard to control it.
But it's much easier to sleep at night when I've been true to my goals. When I slip and get testy, I can forgive myself, but only if I promise to try harder. The kids deserve it, of course. And no matter how righteous it sounds, it is satifying to do what is good for kids.