People are often overly concerned with “image”. They want to
maintain a sense of dignity no matter what situation arises.
But sometimes this is an impossible task. Teachers should
certainly realize that they are elite members of a very unique
institution. Teachers are confronted with so many different types
of scenarios every day and often they’re expected to deal with
them all at once but teachers are human beings not sophisticated
robots who possess no emotions or feelings.
Imagine that you’re about to become the victim of a freak accident.
You’ve just fallen off your rickety teacher’s chair…then you hit your
head on the teacher’s desk. Papers going flying in every conceivable
direction, your shoes have suddenly disappeared…and surprise none
of your students even had the time to pull a prank on you. The incident
took place within a matter of seconds. What was the immediate reaction
of your students? Well at first, some students probably would have laughed
quite hysterically at this unusual occurrence. Soon after that,
those delighted chuckles would have turned into gasps of real concern.
You’d stand up, shoeless, and brush yourself off. But how could you
regain your composure after this unfortunate event?
You’d do it quickly and quietly. You’d reassure your students that you
were okay. You’d calmly ask if anyone had seen your shoes. You could
also use humor to defuse the tense situation. You could say something
to this effect. “Now that I have your full attention…let’s continue
discussing our topic.” It would be a wonderful turn of events if you
and your class had been discussing safety issues.
If you’d gotten a little bit angry because a student had made a rude
remark to another student and you’d overreacted…you could make
a brief and sincere apology. This would probably smooth over the
situation with young students…especially if you had not frightened
them or acted in a truly unprofessional manner. Young students, many
times, seem to get over a minor trauma much sooner than older students.
One time, a few years ago, during the middle of an important lecture,
I lost my train of thought, my students waited patiently for several
minutes, but my mind was still blank. I probably offered a humble
and sincere apology and they were quite amused. We sailed through
the rest of the class period with no other problems. It was difficult
to stand there and look like an idiot in front of two dozen students
but it was nothing to feel ashamed about…things like that happen.
All people lose their composure, whether they’re in education or
some other field, people have to realize that it’s just a normal
part of life and they have to deal with it in a positive manner.
Life goes on and those incidents will be forgotten over time.