My First-Day-of-School Nightmare

My very first teaching job was at Caprock High School, Amarillo ISD, Amarillo, TX.

I was excited when I was told, late in the summer of 1987, that my teaching assignment was U.S. History – a course, at that time, juniors took.

Unfortunately, my excitement was tempered by a reoccurring nightmare: I dreamt that, at the end of the first day of school, my principal would find me in my classroom duct taped to a chair in front of the room. I had lost and the students had won the battle of classroom control.

But I need not to have worried because control is never an issue when two principles are followed.

First, love your students and make sure they know you love them. Second, provide meaningful learning experiences which you are excited about, and in which your students are engaged.

If those two principles are followed, then control is never a problem. In fact, it’s not even the right language.

The teacher/student relationship is not about control, it’s about love, understanding and trust.

Love
The teacher’s unconditional acceptance of and care for her students.

Understanding
Expectations are clearly set and consistently followed.

Trust
Students know that their teacher’s love and expectations form an unshakable foundation.

My first-day-of-school nightmare never materialized. I was not found at the end of the day duct taped to a chair.

But I was found bound … bound to my students in love, understanding and trust.

About drjstewart

Educator, writer, and photographer
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