Positive reinforcement

Today as the passing period began between the first and second lesson, I was wrapping up a very educational game of with the 11th form UNO (practicing rule following, patience, colors, numbers, and following directions). I am left alone for the rest of the week teaching one of my partner teacher’s classes because her daughter had a baby and she is in Chisinau with her (as she should be). Yesterday was the first day I was taking over for her and the first lesson I had was with the 6th form and they were absolutely terrible. Absolutely. Terrible. Actually, most of the class was pretty good except for a couple of students that made the lesson practically unbearable. Anyways, this class walked in as I was wrapping up the educational activity with the 11th form. Of course they wanted to spend their lesson doing the same educational activity but after a day like yesterday, there was no way I would allow it. We were having a lesson, and I told them so. When we were about half-way through the lessons they asked (for the first time since I turned them down) if they could play UNO. Because I couldn’t believe how hard they were working and how behaved they were, I agreed, but told them we had to finish our current activity first. I could not believe those students that were in front of me quietly using the dictionaries, doing their work, and participating in the lesson were the same students that started my day off on the wrong foot yesterday. Yelling does not solve anything. Positive reinforcement does help. These kids live on it.

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