When the Honeymoon’s Over

This may seem an odd topic to be posting in late July, but bear with me- you’ll see the relevance shortly.

School starts in about a month, and the first week or so usually goes quite well. We are enjoying seeing colleagues and meeting new staff. It’s fun to reconnect with the kids, some of whom are unrecognizable from just 3 months ago. We have a lovely couple of weeks, or, if you are lucky, months.

Then reality creeps back in. Kids stop doing work. Your “across the hall” teacher won’t keep her kids in the room. The administration’s requirements pile up. That one parent is beginning to work your last nerve and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.

The common denominator here is that real work requires us all to address conflict. Some of us hate it, some of us relish it, but many of us wait until it has us sleepless and/or in tears until we address it. Amy Pope Castro, president of Innovative Communication & Training Solutions, offers 10 Valuable Tips to Conquering Conflict that can be customized to work in and around the classroom environment.

Her suggestions are simple and doable. As I try to use them myself, I’ll also be teaching these tips to my 10th grade advisees. I’ll spend some time this month thinking about how can become living parts of my classroom management strategies.  How will you use them?

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