This morning I was reminded of a VERY former colleague. She worked with me at Burnett. It was pretty obvious early on she wouldn’t make it. She only stayed for that year (SIDE NOTE: We used to take the staff list and figure out who wouldn’t be there the next year. That’s sad, I know.). This teacher, A, cried often, the kids bullied her, and she ALWAYS needed Thursday afternoon off (my prep. I got tapped A LOT). When I would go into A’s room to teach math, I had the kids seated, we got through the homework, and we would get the lesson done. Otherwise we went into “overtime”. That’s what I call staying after school to complete the assignment. After all, that’s what it is at work.
There were two absolutely weird things that took place during these “sessions.” One is that the students admitted they got more learning and work from me than with A. They admitted they would bully her. While she was crying, cajoling, or screaming at them, they would play. The second weird thing is that she would “give” parties every time you turned around. The kids didn’t respect her at all for it. She thought she was buying their cooperation. She wasn’t. As I say, “Why reward poor behavior?”
Which brings me to this morning’s TV. We were playing flip and came across the Animal Planet’s , It’s Me or the Dog with Victoria Stillwell. I was struck at how much this reminds me of that teacher (and some others, including myself). The woman in question wouldn’t discipline her dog, or take the lead, and the dog ruled the house. It’s obvious the owner was unhappy, but she wouldn’t change the dynamic. Then, of all things, she would REWARD and SPOIL the dog on top of it. I think Victoria was as stunned as anyone else. Again, “Why would you reward poor behavior?”
The MOST interesting thing was how quickly the dog responded to Victoria. She used “the tone” and the dog would stop doing what she was doing right away. WOW. Therefore, kids, tone matters.
I think I want a dog trainer to come to my room and look for my mixed messages and bad habits! Who needs educational consultants when you can just cut to the chase. 🙂