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From a Nurse to a Teacher

Presumptions

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Although, I do not have a lot of experience in the classroom as a teacher, I can provide a different perspective as an older student. Even though, I did not have behavioral issues like the student in the article. I had issues that adults have in their lives, whether it is children or caring for an older parent. Many of the teachers in my program did not have compassion for their students and the responsibilities that these students had in life. If a student did not turn an assignment in or it was late he or she received a zero. All the students were treated equal, but many times it was not fair. The ability for a teacher to re-frame his or hers interpretation is essential to the relationship between the students and teachers. Teachers who choose not to accept this skill as a responsibility to his or her students are doing them an great injustice.

Kindergarten Teacher, Seattle, WA

Yes!

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I completely agree Richard. As a kindergarten teacher I often have students making mistakes (it's how we all learn) and approaching these with the attitude described above in the "sit down" scenario is by far the most productive and integrity saving way to interact with students. Students, especially at this young age, often just have a different idea of what to do and need to be given the words of what they are doing (talking with friends) and what right now they need to do (sit down) and how you can still do the other positive thing...just not right now.

High school english teacher and blogger.

Positive Presumption

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This is a powerful point to make, Richard, and I'm so glad you provide a concrete example for teachers! I used a similar method with my high school students, but I called it my "Positive Presumption". I presumed they had a reason for whatever it was they were doing, or I presumed that they really didn't understand that what they were doing was wrong or inappropriate. Thus, my reactions to perceived negative behavior were not an immediate, "Stop that!" but more thoughtful or surprised. Since my perception of the students was not an immediate negative one, they responded more favorably to a redirect. It's hard to "live down" how someone sees us! : )

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