My first year in teaching was spent with a self-contained class of retained seventh-graders. Right above the whiteboard in our classroom I wrote this question on a poster: “Is what you’re doing, or is what you’re thinking about doing, going to help you get what you want?” I think periodically reflecting on that question in class was mildly effective.
Today, Marvin Marshall, who is my favorite (by far) writer/thinker on positive classroom management, wrote a different (and, I think, better) question that we as teachers might want to consider asking ourselves regularly. He wrote:
Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?
Of course, that’s not a bad question for us to consider in all our interpersonal relationships, either…