So, do children have patience in their talking, thinking and reasoning? It seems to stem right back to you as a teacher to help.
Patience from the teacher’s standpoint creates an environment of compassion and respect. When you’re patient with children, it’s just saying, “I respect how you feel children and I respect you. I want you to be happy and independent because I love you and want the best for you. I want to help you find your own happiness, so I’m going to slow down and take time to calmly assist you. Sometimes I do this by doing things for you, such as tying your shoes when you can’t do it. Sometimes I do this by teaching you to help yourself, such as helping you take deep breaths to calm yourself down or standing back and waiting for you to learn things at your own pace, in your own way, without my intervening. Sometimes I do this by giving you my attention and sharing in your joy.”
Children will test you and push you to your limits of patience. They don’t mean to do it. Some of those patience killers are just a part of normal, healthy development. Children just don’t realize how their behaviors impact others. When you are in a rush, they will dawdle. When you want to focus on a project, they will interrupt you. When you simply want a moment of quiet, they will shriek, make annoying sounds, and fight, often for no reason, it seems, other than to disrupt the peace. When you easily see the solution to a problem, they will argue with you throwing tantrums at times because they cannot see the solution at all. *Sometimes, it is the child who lacks patience, and that alone can cause you to lose yours.
There will be days when you want to demand compliance. “You will listen to me.” “Move faster.” “Stop fighting, and leave each other alone.” It is effective for the short term, but it loses its effectiveness over time because it conveys a message to the children that says “I don’t respect you.”
When you remind yourself that at the end of the day, all of the important things will still be accomplished (showing love being the most important thing of all), then you can stop rushing, express dissatisfaction and start enjoying the ride during the ups and downs of life with the children you are teaching.
Part 3 next week on ways to teach children patience and acceptance!