Contrary to popular belief, teachers are not just in the teaching profession; they are also in the relationship, marketing, and motivation professions. How can I assert that? Consider these points:
- Relationships are key: Students will not learn from (or take discipline from) someone they do not like. For many people, including youth, relationships are their most prized possession. The aphorism is true: People don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.
- Marketing matters: Today’s students have so many diversions that they do not come to school, sit at the teacher’s feet, and say, “Teach me.” Successful teachers create curiosity. They make learning meaningful, enjoyable, and challenging. But most of all, they motivate students to learn. In essence, teachers market the information that they would like students to learn. As a natural by-product, this marketing approach greatly reduces discipline problems.
- Motivation is critical: All teachers are in the motivation business. The sooner we realize this, the more our efforts will be invested in motivating our students to put forth effort in their learning. A simple way to do this is to reflect on the reason that something is being taught. Then share that with students. When students understand the motivation behind something, they are more apt to self-correct and practice self-discipline.