Five Tips For Building Rapport With Your Students

“I F*%$king HATE YOU!” screamed a hurt and angry eleven year old boy, spit nearly hitting my face. This was my ‘welcome to teaching’; I received in the first week of the first year of my teaching career. I was gob smacked. Never did I expect to hear those words. Later it was followed by pencils being snapped, white board markers being thrown at me, and of course, the occasional run away routine. This child (let’s call him Bill) grated on me. Nothing in my four-year teaching degree could prepare me for this. I was hurt at first, took it personally and went home in tears more times than I care to remember. Nearly twelve months later, when it was time to say goodbye to this young boy, he did not want to leave my side. Tears streamed down his face as he hugged me saying “I love you, don’t leave.” Wow, what a transformation! What led to that transformation? Eight years later as I look back on my teaching career I wonder…what was it that made the difference? What turned this child around, and others? Through my study of Meta Dynamics, NLP and teaching students around the world, I have developed some simple beliefs that help me build rapport with my students, and adults too. These are: 1. We cannot change anyone else’s behaviour, the only behaviour we have any control over is our own. I could not force Bill to behave in any certain way, all I could do was change the way I related to him. I had to have the behavioural flexibility to discover what...

Tips to Maximise Your ‘Holiday Hiatus’

I love holidays; I mean, who doesn’t? It gives us an opportunity to refresh our mind, body and spirit so that we come home looking and feeling great! It also gives us an opportunity to splurge on the buffet breakfast (just one more pancake and hash brown won’t hurt, surely?), get slightly sun burnt (not to worry, it will turn into a tan), and drink those refreshing cocktails by the pool. Yep, holidays are great! However, often we can return feeling sluggish, bloated and get the post holiday blues. As I love to travel, and I am leaving for Bali in a few days for my holiday, I thought I would share some tips that are good for our mind, body and spirit whilst on holidays, so that when you’re planning your next holiday, you might like to try them too, so that you return feeling refreshed and re-energized. 1. Do some form of physical activity every day Now hear me out before you screw up your nose and switch to YouTube to check out the latest cat clips. Physical activity can be exciting and fun, and still feel like you are on holidays. Here are a few suggestions: Hire a bike: Bike riding throughout the local town or countryside is a cheap and easy way to see the local surroundings. You can explore more of the city you might not see by other means of transportation. It is also a great lower body workout, and many cities and towns have bikes to hire. Walk to explore: What better way to experience the local sights, smells, sounds and people than...

My Elevator Rules

You see, I have this elevator, it’s rather large and works just fine, however, it’s not quite as magical as the one in ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’, but it does have powers. I never fully understood what type of powers it has until recently. That’s because I didn’t fully understand the purpose of my elevator, but now I do. Do you want me to share it with you? Here’s how it works: My elevator goes to multiple floors in my house. I actually have over 50 of them! Yep, my house is pretty big. However, up until recently I never really visited most of the floors in my house. I tended to favour some floors over others. Each floor created in me a difference mood, and my thoughts changed depending on what floor I was on. When I was alone, or sometimes with my husband, I would visit floor number three more often than the others. It wasn’t fancy at all; rather it was cold, and uninviting. The view wasn’t that great, and, well, let’s face it, it was miserable. I would enter this floor and feel angry, upset, frustrated, sad, alone, tired and irritable. The reason why I would visit this floor was because it was familiar to me. I knew it, it was predictable, and no matter what, I thought it was the floor I was meant to go to when I entertained certain thoughts, especially in my marriage. I tried to redecorate this floor by putting up new blinds, I ripped up the carpet and put new floorboards; I even got a brand new bedspread,...

“Thanks For Growing With Us”

As I was sitting outside, enjoying the sun, on the last lunch time duty I would have as a teacher for ‘who knows how long’, two year ten girls came up to me a little bit coy and handed me a canvas. “This is for you Miss. We will miss you. This is from all the year ten, eleven and twelve students at NCC. Thank you”, they said to me as I reached out and took the canvass. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at a picture of a tree, with long brown branches reaching out and on the end of the branches, like leaves, were each student’s finger print with their name printed in black around it. The inscription at the bottom of the picture read “Thank’s for growing with us.” My eyes welled with tears as I saw their faces beaming with admiration and love for the work they had created in order to pass on a gift to me that I would keep forever to remember them by. And as I realised how much I meant to these amazing students I knew I touched their heart in a special way, just as much as they touched mine. As I was driving home that afternoon ready to embark on a new chapter of my life I began to think about the inscription on the painting. I thought, “Isn’t it interested that they wrote ‘Thank’s for growing with us’ and not ‘Thank’s for growing us’. And this got me thinking about the role of a teacher, the role of a mentor, parent or anyone in a leadership...

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