The Two Keys to Success in the Classroom

Usually, teachers react to situations and classroom difficulties. Since reactivity leads to impulsiveness (lack of opportunity to reflect about things), it doesn’t yield constructive outcomes. It’s important that teachers prepare, anticipate, and constantly expect the type of challenges and experiences that they will have to face and deal with. When this happens, they will be able to demonstrate kindness, care, and genuine interest for students, in a more deliberate manner. I believe that ANTICIPATION and PREPARATION are the keys to achieving genuine success in teaching and learning!

This is also applicable in other relationships we forge in life. Most married couples struggle to see eye-to-eye because they fail to anticipate and prepare for potential conflicts. However, both of these require a substantial amount of mental energy (at first). Once couples start doing this on a daily basis, it becomes almost automatic. Nevertheless, since humans are dynamic beings, the process continues to evolve and change from time to time. To be successful in any relationship, one has to constantly anticipate and prepare…to face the inevitability of human (spouse’s) inconsistencies.

To really think about it…Jesus demonstrated this to us in all of his experiences here on earth. Sometimes, the questions He presented to his followers were in anticipation of what was coming ahead of Him/them. He anticipated abundance of blessings (two fish and five loaves multiplied into so many…) that he asked them to sit in proper order so that they can collect and save the left-overs, etc. He anticipated the agonizing separation from His Father (on the cross), which prompted Him to pray in the garden – preparation for the moment of pain. We can many such examples if we examine the Scriptures.

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Teachers often possess good intentions. However, these good intentions translate themselves into ‘evil’ actions when they are wrought in impulsive reactiveness to situations (the quick-fix mentality and approach never yielded anything substantial in terms of improving the cognitive and affective aspects of teaching and learning). The inability to ANTICIPATE and PREPARE (which results in constructive and well-thought responses and solutions) leads to many unwanted squabbles and misunderstanding between students and teachers. The only way to avoid this is to become PROACTIVE agents of care, kindness, peace, love, and patience in the classroom. Teachers who initiate and engage in behaviors, conversations, and thoughts that reflect all these positive qualities can expect to spread an epidemic of ‘cognitive-social-emotional-well-being’ in the classroom.

Copyright July 2006 by Dr. Edward Roy Krishnan, www.affectiveteaching.com


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