Is it easier to run your classroom by love or fear, should you be a great or mean teacher, should you be friendly or unfriendly, approachable or distant, smile or frown?
I would gather to express that most people have entertained this question now and then throughout our teaching careers. As a new teacher, it is a question that you’re going to invariably ask yourself over and over. So what is the result? What is the ultimate way to handle your classroom?
When answering this question it got me contemplating a magazine I read a long time ago called The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli. So I Googled it to get a refresher. The book speaks of the best way for the Prince to rule. I guess as teachers we will be regarded the ruler’s individuals mini-kingdom so let’s check out his answer.
“Upon vid question arises: whether it is safer to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that particular should want to be both, but, because it is challenging to unite them in a person, it’s much advisable to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with… men below the knob on scruple in offending one that is beloved than the person who is feared, for love is preserved through the link of obligation which, as a result of the baseness of men, is broken every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by way of a dread of punishment which never fails.”
“…Nevertheless, a prince must inspire fear so that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; while he can endure well being feared whilst he’s not hated”
So, he suggests a bit of both as a good measure. But when you are looking for teaching, fear alone may work against you because as he suggests hatred is it’s a close cousin. Remember that we’re nurturing the introduction of humans and not ruling a kingdom. Think back upon teachers that you just considered to be your very best.
Did you hate them and fear them or have you like them and respect them? Did you look forward to class or did you dread class? Did you feel comfortable approaching them with a matter or were you shaking inside your boots such as the lion approaching the Great Oz?
So does that mean we have to play the role of their B.F.F (good friends forever)? Think back to that teacher you truly loved – were they your B.F.F. – in many instances no. That’s not quite the answer either.
What about fear? I like to equate teaching to parenting. I find as being a parent you like young kids unconditionally and so they love you right back. You encourage them, you use them, you’re friendly together, you’re silly with these and they also as if you. However, if you are a good parent it is possible to turn the switch when the time comes. You have set the boundaries and limits and you also guide them for your children and when it can be necessary you provide discipline. However, even just amid discipline you never stop loving the kids and so they never stop loving you. There is a balance between being friendly and being strict. So young kids adore you consistently but who was without just a little anxiety about their parents whenever they laid down the hammer.
Rather than calling it fear I would refer to it as respect and as opposed to calling it discipline I would think of it as guidance. Kids need structure and they need to be guided. This requires a manager, not just a B.F.F.
So Machiavelli could have struggled with this question if this located a classroom vs a kingdom. After all, we have been having to unite many qualities to be successful in our classrooms. So when you are looking for the best personality you should have within the classroom I would provide these suggestions:
Remember it’s your personality so you must develop a method that suits you. It is very challenging to become someone you are not. However, take into account that just because you happen to be friendly or loved doesn’t suggest you happen to be weak. One does not simply one other. Fear can be quite a short-term fix where love can promote lasting positive change. You can nevertheless be loved and strict.
Usually, we resort to the fear and disciplined approach when our students are acting out. This may be the result of our classroom management plan and also have absolutely nothing to do with the personality you project inside the classroom. If you have a great classroom management plan and abide by it consistently then it may free you approximately possess the personality which makes you content. I have run the gamut of personalities inside the classroom. I started out wanting to certainly be a friend, which has not, then become the militant dictator, which have not and ultimately realized if I devoted to developing a well run, organized and efficient classroom I could just be me.