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How do you handle challenging behaviors?

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

With the first full week of school under my belt, I keep hearing the brilliant words of Carla Shalaby’s Troublemakers in my head… BE LOVE. KEEP THEM CLOSE. I am trying, with every fiber of my being to live these principles in my classroom every day.

Being love is usually pretty easy in kindergarten. The kids are pure love. They come in, bouncing, often running at a sprint into my arms each morning. How can you not BE LOVE when that’s how you start your day? We start each morning by singing, every day. Start the day with singing. BE LOVE. We have a picnic snack outside when the weather permits. Sitting together, laughing, eating, the sun shining down on us. BE LOVE. We read books and laugh, and wonder, and get sad or worried for the characters. We’re becoming more than a community, but a family, after only two weeks. BE LOVE.

Now there are a few that are new to this whole school thing. Or they are just super active. All the dancing and recess and movement breaks in the world and they can’t help but move. Sometimes the moving is pushing or kicking and sometimes I get upset. I tell them my first job is to keep everyone safe, so I send them to sit in at a table. They’re right there with us, but with a little extra space. I can see them. They can see me. KEEP THEM CLOSE. I tell them I’m not mad. I still love them. But I have to keep everyone safe. BE LOVE. Then when the lesson is over and I have a spare second, I go over and sit close, and literally pull them to me, our faces close and I tell them I know they can do it and believe in them and I ask for a hug and they squeeze me so tight I can feel their little heart beating. KEEP THEM CLOSE.

Troublemakers has burrowed deep inside my heart and I hear the author’s words daily. If you’ve read it, you know what I mean and if you haven’t, when you can read or listen to it. I will continue to try, with all my might to BE LOVE and KEEP THEM CLOSE.

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