Today a student said:
“I used to think you were really harsh, but now I know why you were like that”
Sometimes what we say to children doesn’t make sense to them at the time. They think we are being unnecessarily picky or making them do things that they can’t see the point of doing. It is our job to stick to our guns; we must do what is needed, even if it is really painful and takes up more time than not doing it. We need to be strong within our classroom and our teaching, even if for some, the school doesn’t provide the support to make this more manageable.
Children may ‘like’ teachers that don’t make them do the tough stuff. But once the realisation hits them in the long term, they feel that they’ve been let down by the teachers they thought they liked, because they realise that school is about learning, not liking teachers/lessons.
The most effective way is often the most painful
Because we like it when children are happy or not giving us grief, the path of least resistance is easiest. However in the long term it doesn’t work. Teachers need to be thinking long term; if you don’t deal with this now, it’s not going to go away or miraculously make itself better.
If we do what we know is best for them it will be worth it. If you’re lucky some will realise this before they leave the school, some will realise it on results day but some will only realise it well after they leave and when you bump into them years later, they’ll tell you how important was that you did that for them.
Sometimes they don’t know what’s good for them.