With teachers and students soon heading back to school, it is a great time to examine the double-edge sword of a habit. The good news is that for students who have had positive experiences and interactions with past teachers and peers, they will most likely enter classrooms ready to develop healthy relationships accordingly. Having experienced safety and belonging, they anticipate it, and contribute to this pattern – which is half the battle.
Unfortunately, old habits die hard – so some of our students who have had damaged relationships, or are used to aggressive interactions, bring these behavioral patterns into the classroom, as well. Having experienced frustration and failure, they anticipate it and behave accordingly – in a way that perpetuates the negative cycle.
There is a silver lining. With new students and a new school year, we have the ability to develop new habits right from the start. When a student (…or parent …or colleague) is negative, complains or argues, we can interrupt the pattern by changing our interaction with that individual. Behavior occurs in a relationship, and if we don’t contribute to problem, negative behaviors can’t ever take root and form into bad habits. Make it a great year by building healthy relationships – it’s really not so hard to do, as long as you take it one … interaction … at … a … time. Welcome back.