I suppose as a teacher, I must also know how to discipline my students, right? That’s expected from me.
Well, I’ve been an online teacher for such a long time that I didn’t really have to be concerned how my students discipline themselves in class. Of course they are expected to behave well, and they do try to maximize their time for studying because most of them are paying for their own class. When you’re paying for your studies, you really don’t wanna fool around too much.
Now, I am dealing with kids, rich kids who do not have any idea about the value of time and money yet. Their classes–amongst many–are of their parents’ prerogative. I can see that most of our students are smart, they are definitely adorable in their own unique ways, and as kids, they wanna play all the time.
I am usually lenient when it comes to kids, I let them do what they want as long as they follow me first. When they’re resistant in the beginning, I try to find their sweet spot and establish rapport. This method is effective, albeit not all the time.
For example, my student “Matty”. He has a condition which makes him act way too energetic and disinterested in some subjects, namely writing, which I teach. I find Matty very cute actually. I can somewhat see him as a more adorable version of “Dexter’s Laboratory’s” Mandark because of the way he speaks and also how he looks. However, I can also feel that he’s very affectionate towards people who would give him attention and genuine care.
There were moments in our class in which I thought, I felt like he was really going to stab me with scissors and he kept asking “Why?” to annoy me, but by the end of the class, he wrote something (which is an achievement itself) and we held hands. We even promised to make a new ice cream flavor together in the future and I get to have unlimited serving from his shop. See? How cute this kid is!
Matty’s former teacher and my boss advised me that I need to be firm with him, but at the same time let him feel like he can trust me. The trusting is manageable, to the point that it’s easy sometimes, but being firm? Hmm… It’s really not one of my forte.
Acting serious and angry is something I find difficult to do. I don’t even get annoyed easily and I don’t get angry! Still, as a teacher in this field, I would have to develop another aspect of myself, which is learning how to be firm with kids when needed.
There’s much to learn from my new job. It’s difficult, but I love the fact that I’m growing along with these kids. Well, I do hope they learn from me. If I can see even just a peek of improvement from one of my students, all these episodes of complaints and wariness will all be worth it.