First, Do No Harm

February 16, 2007 at 5:49 pm (children, culture, Education, kids, Parents, school)

The two following classroom management tips are brief, but powerful. 

Tip 1 – First, Do No HarmWhen you discipline a student, the Roman physician Galen’s “Primum non nocere,” meaning “First, do no harm,” can be helpful.Always keep in mind that you have the power to hurt or heal as you confront a student. And just because the student you are confronting hurt another student does not mean you should hurt him or her.

You can curtail the sting and bring healing through your actions by considering the consequences of your words and trying to mentor students as you correct them. Such actions will pay high dividends. 

Tip 2 – Student Relationships It’s difficult to build relationships with students if your need for control is too strong. And because control is important to every teacher, we need to know whether our need for control is within appropriate limits. Answering just a few questions can give us the accurate input we need:

  • Do you go to great lengths to show students you’re right—even over trivial issues?
  • Do you feel anxious when students suggest a different way to approach routine procedures in class?
  • Do you have a hard time giving students choices or delegating responsibility for a task and the authority to do the task?
  • Are you a perfectionist?

Your answers should tell you whether you need to do any adjusting in order to build relationships with students.

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