I manage a POD Learning group of 6 3rd graders. For the most part, I enjoy my job but sometimes they are infuriating. Today, for example, is their first day back from the 3 day weekend and they are all unprepared and one of them got up and was trying to help (I know it comes from a good place but it is also something they shouldn’t be doing without permission) and knocked over my coffee and then instead of being able to help I had to spend time cleaning up a mess that could have been avoided if they had been doing what they were supposed to. It’s frustrating for me because most of this type of issue wouldn’t exist if they just did what I told them to do.
When I get frustrated like this I have to remind myself that I need to adjust my Standards of what to expect behavior wise to that of a 3rd-grade level. A lot of the time I find myself expecting too much of them and I end up getting overly frustrated. You cannot expect adult behavior from children. I REPEAT! YOU CANNOT EXPECT ADULT BEHAVIOR FROM CHILDREN. I can create expectations for them that are at a high standard but I also need to have reasonable reactions to them not always meeting those standards. Am I upset about no longer having coffee? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No.
I can be upset, process my emotions, and then move on because I am an ADULT. I can help teach the children how to uphold my standard by upholding it myself. Leading by example! Easier said than done. It makes me a lot more sympathetic towards them when I realize I’m three times their age and I still struggle to control myself sometimes. Working with children really helps me stay humble and present. They are just little humans trying to figure out the world and I don’t need to make it harder on them just because they haven’t learned everything yet. If they are showing me they don’t know something I should help them learn not put them down.
After thinking through this I am calm and my frustration with them has dissipated. I do wish I had coffee though… Better luck tomorrow!