In the Game

To me a ‘mental set’ is very much like a sport like we discussed in class. I remember skiing in highschool and before every race you had to focus and prepare. You would drink lots of water, watch what you eat, and mentally think up strategies to use during a race. In order to be an effective teacher, I am beginning to realize that I will need to do the exact same thing EVERY day before I enter the classroom. My mind has to be ready and I need to be mentally prepared for the stress I am about to go through. When I am in the classroom, I need to be focused on the task at hand. Our book talks about different strategies to keep engaged and mindful of student behavior. A teacher needs to be moving, needs to ‘appear’ everywhere and attentive at every minute of the classroom period. I also think to a degree, a teacher needs to also stay ‘with-it’ concerning pop media and technology. I do not think it is extremely necessary to be able to name off the top 40 hits on the radio but at least have an idea. I suppose you could relate it more to a team you would be playing against. In order to be effective you have to know what some of their strategies are. In the classroom, you at least need to know the basics of the culture your students are coming from.

Renewing and reviving myself mentally I think is critical. After a stressful interaction with a student (or several students) or your colleagues, the instinct is not to react in a positive way. It is imperative to take several seconds to calm down, center yourself mentally, and then fix the problem asap instead of letting the student think he just got away with something or possibly creating enmity between you and your colleague. If the situation allows, I thinking taking a quick breather by yourself is extremely good. It gets you away from people, allows you to vent your emotions at inanimate objects, and gets your ready to get back to the classroom somewhat revived (hopefully). The other thing I think is critical in conflict is to not take your side of the issue up immediately. I am guessing it would be quite easy as a teacher to think you are in the right ALL the time. However, that is just not true and something I do not want to fall into. When you think you are right all the time and push that on others, the respect that is needed in the classroom will fall apart.

The website I picked puts an emphasis on specific strategies for your mental set. Most people usually are not good at winging it in important, high stress situations (hmmm… like the classroom?) and specific strategies are needed to face what your students throw at you.


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