I find poor behaviors, much like dirt, tend to build up over time. One reaction leads to another, and before long, ingrained patterns of unfortunate behaviors become the norm. Put another way, behaviors that are repeated become habits – and once this happens, they can take time to break.
Speaking of habits, I tried to break some ingrained eating patterns this week. Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? For three days I consumed only liquids – veggies, fruits and nutrients all blended into healthy shakes. My wife believes it is unnatural to drink meals. She, like most, prefer to chew their food. However, for me, this ritual helps purge my system and press the reset button. Isn’t it a shame there isn’t a behavioral cleanse we could take to detox as easily?
Teachers, remember that students have had an entire summer to re-establish behavioral patterns that were in place in May. Lack of routine, excess technology time, less face-to-face interactions, and concerns brought on by the lingering pandemic have all had an impact on kids’ behaviors. And chances are good some of these behaviors have become poor habits.
With it being the start of school, now’s our chance to purge, cleanse, and reshape behavioral patterns. Remember that every single interaction affords us an opportunity to press the reset button. It might take some time, but I believe as we work to help our students develop good behavioral habits, ours too will be positively impacted in the process.