Tired of Growling? Here’s some solutions!


My teacher is always growling?
Did you hear my teacher growl today?
I got growled at today and I didn’t do anything bad. I was just getting up to get another pencil.
I wish my teacher wouldn’t growl all the time.
I am worried about my teacher because I like her very much and it makes me sad when she has to growl. 

What is growling?  To murmur or complain angrily; grumble.

Have you had to growl today?

Growling is not a long term fix for day to day problems. Using consequences and reward systems often act as temporary measures. To change student’s behaviour you need to change your behaviour.

Allowing students to make decisions for themselves and self regulate will make a difference. Providing new ways of giving instructions, seating, quiet work time, packing up processes, lining up procedures and letting go of traditional practices will impact on you and your students in a positive way.

Why spend time growling or handing out points to manage behaviour when you could be introducing new teaching and management practices that empower both you and your students? 

If you know that every day one or more of the problems listed below will occur and you are frustrated and tired of growling then it is time to change what you say and do. It is so important to care for your own well being as well as your students.

Try This:

Click on the behaviours below for practical solutions to introduce in your classroom.
Students …
– Pushing in line
– Not following instructions
– Being out of their seats
– Not working
– Calling out
– Interupting during class discussions
– Talking to peers while the teacher is providing instructions
– Not finishing work because they are easily distracted by others chatting
– Annoying others 
– Not able to locate their resources
– Making too much noise in the classroom

Tips for Caring for Yourself:

1. Drink water and eat ‘brain food’ regularly. Yes you can nibble on pieces of apple, eat a banana, grab a handful of nuts ( providing your school is not a nut free zone) and yes you can eat them as you are working in the classroom. Explain why you nibble brain food. Encourage your students to bring brain food to class to nibble as they work. 

2. Please leave your classroom at playtime and lunch time. Go to the staff room and have some time out. Chat to others. They have also had a busy time. I always remember one of my colleges telling me how pleased she was at lunch time to see me in the staff room.  She had some difficult students and appreciated the time we spent together. 

3. If you have playground duty try the ideas from this newsletter. 

4. Use the Five Minute Break strategy during class time.  It will make a positive difference to both you and your students. 

5. Resist the temptation to spend all your break time checking your phone or computer. Yes it is easy to stay in your room or office and not make the effort to leave. It’s important to visit and communicate with the people around you.

6. Speak calmly and strongly when interacting with your students. Raising your voice puts you on edge. Your voice is a powerful tool. Use it too your advantage. 

7. Use notes and written instructions. This will focus students on the task at hand and raise their interest and curiosity.  

Teaching is a full time occupation. You spend hours every year in your classroom working together with students.  It is a very rewarding occupation but it can be tiring, stressful and cause worry and anxiety. Take care of yourself by making changes to your routines and classroom practises. It can be done!