Unshakable: Connect With Kids and Gain Energy Instead of Letting Them Drain You

Do you ever feel as if teaching is not enjoyable?  Unfortunately, I have had this feeling.  When the opportunity arose to read Angela Watson’s book Unshakeable, I was thrilled and jumped at the opportunity!

20 ways
I wanted to reflect on the chapter titled:  Connect With Kids and Gain Energy Instead of Letting Them Drain You.  The reading of this chapter could not have come at a better time!  We have five weeks left of school, testing is around the corner, and I hate to admit it, but my patience are very thin at this point.  I am drained.  I am drained every single day.  I feel as if all of my energy is being drained by the students that are refusing to work, those that don’t care, and those that want to create problems every.single.day.

In her book, Angela says:

This is EXACTLY what I am feeling right now.

In this chapter, Angela provides many ways to connect with students on a positive level.  I am a pretty positive teacher.  I think I do a pretty good job at staying positive, but these reminders are great ones! Things that I may have been doing at the beginning of the year, but as the year progresses they have a tendency to get shoved to the wayside.

16 Connect with kids
Here are a couple of ideas that I loved, and Angela goes into great detail within her book.

Make a connection with five kids every day.  In order to keep myself focused, I’m a list maker. So, I really liked this idea. Divide your class into fifths. You will “assign” each of your students a day of the week.  Make a list of those names for each day.  Of course, they don’t know that the list exists.  On “their” day, pay special attention to those students on the list. Give them a little more feedback, provide praise, or simply give them a smile. Look for the good in those students. If you follow your list, by the end of the week you will have connected with each student on a personal level. Great idea!

The other idea that stuck out to me was to surprise kids with compliment slips and appreciation notes.  Tuck these positive notes away and when students are least expecting it, slip them a note.  Before long, you may see those unruly students begin to make changes in hopes that you will notice them, and they will receive a special note.  It’s a win-win for everyone!

These are just a couple of ways Angela suggests connecting with students. This chapter is packed full of wonderful ideas from participating in games with kids, to acknowledging their birthdays, to starting a sharing time.

If you find yourself drained and not enjoying your calling as a teacher, I invite you to read more about Angela’s book Unshakeable HERE.  You can also find a copy of her book HERE.


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