Friday, April 24, 2009

Planning Discipline



Martin Brodeur, arguably the best goalie in hockey history, in one of the most stressful jobs there is, once made a comment that I found particularly poignant. In response to a reporter's question, Brodeur stated that he was not nervous before a game because he was prepared. Brodeur posited that people are only anxious when they are not adequately prepared.

Sounds about right to me.

Two common sources of anxiety are: a) the unknown future, and b) powerlessness

Being properly prepared for a situation reduces anxiety because it makes the future more known and being prepared is empowering. Being prepared reduces anxiety, and thus, enhances performance.

Planning is not my favourite task, but it is very important.

In terms of classroom management and discipline, having a plan is vital. Before a misbehaviour occurs, a good teacher (and a good parent) should anticipate the possibility of the misbehaviour, and should visualize his reaction. That way, when the misbehaviour occurs, the teacher is not caught off guard, the teacher does not react impetuously, the teacher does not lose his temper.

It would be nice to live in a utopia where we always expect the best from our students. However, being prepared for misbehaviour reduces the anxiety a teacher feels before and after the incident of misbehaviour.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

(And be careful not to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.)

Photo by Jordon


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