Lessons Learned Late

I had my first day back at work yesterday (substitute teaching). During a break I was looking at a book the teacher had about discipline. (what I have struggled most with in my 21 years of teaching) I wish I could have been taught these principles when I started out! I don’t think I had any training in behavior management when I got my degrees. Anyway, although the basic idea is something I have known for awhile, this book really made it clear. The key is to learn to be assertive not passive or aggressive. Here are some thoughts from the book on being passive* (my main problem):

The goal of assertiveness is clarity; the goal of the passive person is to please – to gain approval or love. (ouch! – but true).  Passivity invites aggression.

Passive people long to be “perfect” so everyone will like them. They seldom express direct desires for fear that their desires may not be “right” ones. (I can relate)

The problem is being passive puts others in charge and once you put others in charge of you – it is difficult to get your power back.

When you focus on what you want, assertiveness comes naturally. Focus on what you want children to do (state what to do)

In all your relationships you actually teach others how to treat you.

The goal of assertiveness is clear communication

You cannot set a limit and take care of another person’s feelings at the same time (A big light bulb for me!)

*excerpts from Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky A. Bailey

I wish I had been taught some of these truths long ago. I pray God will help me take them to heart even now. Passivity is actually a very self-indulgent stance (as is aggression). Assertiveness looks for the best way to communicate clearly. (even if it is not popular)

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