The Best Example

Show them H-O-W, translated…

The biggest trouble of working in a distant elementary school is the lack of personnel, the children must shoulder OVER their shares of cleaning up the school grounds.

As the kids in my class reached the higher grade levels, they’d learned that their cleaning duties are all the restrooms in the school, they’re all screaming, and howling in pain, the work of cleaning up the restrooms, everybody wishes s/he could dodge, and, it’d become a next-to-impossible task, for me, to persuade them, that this, is what needed to be done, to keep our environment clean.

On the first day the kids reported to their newly assigned areas of cleaning, I’d gone to the bathrooms, to see how the kids are doing, and, when they saw me, they’d started complaining of how the restrooms stunk, how people wouldn’t flush the toilets after they used them, and showed a desire, that they wanted to switch to a less messy cleaning area, like sweeping the grounds.

Even though, in psychology, the behaviorist approach showed that you can get immediate results from giving rewards, but I believed, that the kids should not rely solely on the extrinsic motivations, that it should be from the inside, and so, I’d decided, to become their role model, hoped that the kids can change their views about cleaning up the toilets.

That day, I’d gone to the restrooms, and, just as usual, I’d heard complaints from the children, I’d smiled and nodded, and heard the kids emotional outbursts, then, I’d taken the toilet brush from one of the girls’ hands, squatted down, worked hard, scrubbing the toilets.  At which time, the little girl looked at me with such admiration, “Teacher, you’re so very brave!”

I’d said, “See!  A lot of the things, so long as we’re willing to put some efforts into, it’s actually not that difficult at all, it’s no longer as scary, if I scrubbed alongside you guys, isn’t it?”

And afterwards, I’d gone to scrub the toilets every single day with the kids, and, had heart-to-heart talks with them while we cleaned.  A week later, I’d found, that the kids in my class are no longer so against having to clean up the restrooms, and sometimes, as they’d cleaned, I’d even heard humming too.  Seeing this, I felt so moved and glad.

When I was still a rookie instructor, didn’t know the ways, I’d once just opened up my lips, and told the kids, go clean this and go wipe that, back then, I couldn’t understand, HOW is it, that I’d given such clear AND precise directions, some of the students still can’t manage.  Later on, I’d discovered, that doing it myself, IS the best way to teach, turns out, that NO amount of verbal demands can beat out just one actions.

Sometimes, when the kids are against something, it is merely their fears of the unknown, at which time, if the adults around them can take their hands, and do the deed alongside them, I believe, that all kids can show potential, and handle what they’re supposed to very well.

And because this teacher didn’t have anybody giving her instructions on how to teach the children, she’d cleaned the bathrooms, and, as the children saw, that the teacher can do it, they felt, that they could do, and that still just shows, how important it is, to be a role model to the younger generations, and, this teacher managed to make cleaning up the bathrooms an easier-to-manage thing, because she’d shown the kids how easy it is, to clean…

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Filed under Communications, Lessons, Maturation, Observations, The Observer Effect, Values

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