I was working with grade five and six students the other day in our ‘Pozitive Kidz are happy kidz’ workshops.
As I walked into the hall for the first session I noticed some workmen outside.
Once the kids came in and I introduced myself the ear-bursting screech began.
One of the workmen outside was using a grinding tool on a piece of metal.
I had to raise the level of my voice so the children could hear what I was saying.
The irritating and annoying sound threaten to disrupt the class as some of the children started to complain about the noise.
I had two choices – either complain about the noise which would have further highlighted the discomfort or use a Tai Chi principle (yin/yang) to deal with it.
I chose the Tai Chi option because I was there to teach the children how to cope with stress.
This is how I did it.
I acknowledged the noise to the students without making too much of it.
I then reinforced the idea throughout the session that Tai Chi helps us to focus inside of ourselves rather than on external distractions we have no control of.
This worked reasonable well as we got through what could have been a disastrous session because of the noise.
This experience for me reinforced the lesson that as teachers we need to model the behaviour we desire our students to exhibit.
A choice we all need to make under pressure.
Stay calm or panic.