In my teaching I have always believed in prevention rather than reaction when it comes to behaviour management. The simplest way to handle behavioural issues is to ensure they do not happen. This can be achieved in numerous ways including engaging all learners, including more stimulating and creative tasks, and, most importantly, developing a good working relationship with your students.
I am less kind to myself, however. When it comes to my own emotional health and wellbeing I will often wait until I reach crisis point and then react to my stress and anxiety. Case in point, I have not blogged in over 3 months and this has coincided with far less regular meditation. I have been meditating when I am stressed, using it as a plaster to cover a cut rather than trying to prevent damage taking place in the first place.
Take today – I knew it would be a demanding day with no frees, a club at lunch and a school trip to finish sorting for tomorrow. Throw in some confrontational moments with staff and by 4pm I was positively simmering.
So why didn’t I meditate in the morning (10 minutes is all it takes)? Why didn’t I stop throughout the day for a minute or two to do a body scan and focus on the breath? It is so easy to get caught up in the day and forget – or overlook – the tools you have that will help you cope.
The wonderful thing is tomorrow is always a new day and in our hands. We can always prevent. We can keep the water at a steady boil and not bubble over in a frenzy of exhaustion and frustration.
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh