Reflection: Positive Reinforcement Novel Discussion, Day Six - Section 2: Discussion


From sources near (teachers down the hall) and far (teacher textbooks), I've heard that teachers shouldn't show emotion. We should remain calm in the storm. We should refuse to smile until Thanksgiving. We should never get angry. We should never show disappointment.

While I agree to a certain extent (rage does not belong in a classroom full of children, no matter how adult they may appear on the outside, and smiles create positive feelings in the classroom), sometimes emotion can be a powerful tool.

Today I broke from my usual mantra of positive reinforcement. I shared with my class that I was disappointed.

The key, though, is how I presented it. I wasn't disappointed in them; I was disappointed in their lack of preparation. By placing my disappointment on the behavior, not the students, I showed that I still like them. Further, I gave hope that the behavior could improve ("you can show me better on Monday"). The disappointment then results in behavior change rather than personal feelings of ill will (or so the hope goes).

  Teacher Emotion
  Positive Reinforcement: Teacher Emotion
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Novel Discussion, Day Six

Unit 2: Finding Themes and Making Inferences in Literature
Lesson 10 of 17

Objective: Students will be able to discuss a novel by posing and responding to questions, incorporating others into discussion, and presenting their own ideas and justifications.

Big Idea: Moving beyond talking at one another--true discussion.

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