That’s How It’s Done!

It is running season for my son and me. I know many people run races throughout the year, but my son and I usually run several races between spring and fall. This year, our incredibly cold winter kept us from doing much during the colder months. I mention this because my son began running a few years ago because he knew I was running to be healthy. This activity has become a great time for us to visit with each other and talk about the issues of life. We continually talk back and forth and encourage each other in the running process. He learns from me and I learn from him. Our first half marathon is on April 20th. I hope I’m ready!
This experience, as well as working with my student teachers this year, has reminded me how modeling and displaying behavior is the best teacher. Children imitate what they see others do. I recently observed a  teacher yell, “Your voices are too loud. You need to quiet down.” I don’t think she realized that her yelling probably reinforced the children’s loud interactions, without curtailing the behavior. Good teachers always model the behavior they want from their students. Good parents model the behavior they want from their children. Effective teachers and parents realize that you can’t say, “Do it because I said so.” They must say, “This is how it is done. You have seen me do it and this is why we should do it this way.” I have watched my own students mimic my behavior. When I compliment children on their positive behavior, I soon hear their peers complimenting in the same way.
When I work with my student teachers on classroom management, I encourage them to always model the behavior they expect. If they want the children to be respectful, they must be respectful to the students and adults in the classroom. Effective teachers and parents know that good behavior and habits come from good modeling and providing examples for their children.
My son picked up the habit of running to try to stay physically healthy. That is one behavior I’m glad I modeled.

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