The Teacher Ninja Part 4
Control with Words and Actions
A ninja knows how to use words and non-violent actions to gain the trust of people and build their confidence. The ninja then is in a position to control the individual.
The teacher ninja uses words and actions not to control students, but to build relationships with them. Once the teacher ninja has established a rapport with a student, the student trusts the teacher. The teacher ninja must show the student with words and actions that she genuinely cares for the student.
Students need to feel loved and have a sense of self-worth. A student that I will call Kaleb transferred in from another school district one year and was being placed in my room. A meeting was held ahead of time with administration concerning the student’s behavior. Kaleb arrived with a reputation and a chip on his shoulder. It took much effort and time on my part to chisel away at the tough exterior of Kaleb. I caught glimpses of what was underneath-a smart boy that needed an adult to believe in him. He was a natural at math, but was never told. His behavior blinded others of his potential. I used my words daily to build his self-worth. I frequently told him that he was smart and gave specific reasons why I thought that. When he did get into trouble, I told him that he was better than that. I trusted him with errands and small jobs in the classroom such as the greeter on Grandparent’s Day, running notes to teachers on my team, or peer tutoring other students in math. '
This boy who fought almost daily on the playground at his previous school was seen in the office one time for fighting at our school…the first week he enrolled. He ended the school year with all A’s and B’s. He wrote a message to me the last day of school telling me that I was the best teacher he ever had and that he’d miss me. He hugged me on the last day of school and broke down in tears. My face was wet from my own tears. He left a imprint on my heart, and I hope I left one on his because I never want him to forget the potential he has to do great things.