My morning at home did not go smoothly. Little Bit did not want to wake up. I styled her hair and short time later she yanked it out. She had a meltdown about her hairstyle. I would like to say that I handled it like a champ, but we all know that some days we are not at a champion level.
As I thought about this interaction, I was reminded of a PD for beginning educators last Thursday when the presenter said, “It’s not about you. 95% of students do not think about you. It’s about them.” This has been an important mantra for me this idea that other’s behaviors are not about me. Let me give you a few examples:
- Dress code issues: The student who you constantly have to ask to put their hoodie down. He doesn’t keep putting it up to annoy you. There is a reason behind it. It could be it makes him feel safe or it may the only way he gets to hear his name during the day. We all do certain behaviors because it has a payoff.
- Tardiness: The student who arrives late is not doing it to annoy you. They may be avoiding the work or something as simple as something else was more exciting than class.
- Not Doing the Work: The student may find the work too easy or too hard. She may just want to think about something other than work.
I am sure my list could go on, but I tell you this because once we accept it is not about us, then we can get to the heart of the issue without a power struggle.
Thinking back to this morning’s interaction with my Little Bit, I made it about me. It this and other situations, I need to say to myself “It’s not about me.” Then I need to empathize and move situation forward.