Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self

It’s 8:00 am sharp which means your first period class is filing into your classroom. Your eyes drift to the usual scenario.

Distracting Debby sits on the top of her desk and continues with her usual class time routine:

  1. She gossips loudly with Gossiping Gail.
  2. When class commences she then proceeds to blatantly distract Distracted Dan.
  3. When asked to participate with the class, she rolls her eyes and hollers insults at Insulted Isaac, the class nerd.
  4. And then she repeats the cycle again.

Every day you frantically do your typical “song and dance” at the front of the classroom, trying to relate to Distracting Debby who could care less about what you’re trying to do.

When reflecting on the situation, all you can think about is how Distracting Debby is “that one kid” who causes all the problems. Maybe so.

But now is the opportune time to heed the words of Ice Cube and Check Yo Self.

Ask yourself: What are you doing that is not getting through to this kid?

Would you like being a student in your own classroom? Do you want to be in your own classroom?

These questions are built on the most basic principles that teachers can reflect on at the end of each day.

If the answer is no there are solutions to the problem at hand.

How do you become the teacher students want to learn from?

  • Ask the students
  • Listen. Talk. And listen some more.
  • Know students outside of class
  • Genuinely care about the students

It will take a bold act of God for you to ask Distracting Debby about her philosophy of education (maybe Insulted Isaac is a safer place to start), but once you as the teacher reach out to these students, they will become more willing to participate if they have ownership in their own learning.

Stop, think and remember: Just check yo self before you wreck yo self.

Thank you Ice Cube for the reality check.