Here’s what one teacher has to say – a Principal, no less, said it to me (or showed me the text) :
” I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom.
My personal approach creates a climate. My daily mood makes the weather.
As a teacher I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humour, hurt of heal.
In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and the child humanised or dehumanised. ”
I think this is a totally excellent understanding.
Those words are from Haim Ginott author of the celebrated book ‘Between Parent and Child’.
Here is part of his Wikipedia entry:
Haim G. Ginott (originally Ginzburg) (1922–1973) was a school teacher, a child psychologist and psychotherapist and a parent educator. He pioneered techniques for conversing with children that are still taught today. His book, Between Parent and Child, stayed on the best seller list for over a year and is still popular today. This book sets out to give “specific advice derived from basic communication principles that will guide parents in living with children in mutual respect and dignity.”
Brought to my attention by the Principal of Murray Bridge Primary School: Mr Graham Alder, and I’m grateful for that.
It seems to me to be of such tremendous importance because I feel it applies to all of us in all our interactions – not simply to the teacher/child interaction.
It is a kind of fundamental human truth that we all should be schooled in from the earliest years.
Though it is presented as material for the consideration of teachers it’s just much material for all of us. And not only that, but it is just as much material for the growing child, of course.
It should not be at all a startling or illuminating concept. It should be a ‘taken for granted’ concept, a knowledge within which we all live.