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Gentle Teaching: A Different Approach to Engaging with Students
What is Gentle Teaching?
Gentle teaching is a unique relational approach focused on building safe, loving, and engaging relationships. This is done through providing leadership, invitation, and example instead of taking control. It's about learning that a child's behavior is never the problem to be solved. To further understand this, we must name the four pillars of gentle teaching:
Using these pillars with your students contributes to a sense of companionship and community, and further helps you understand their needs.
Using Gentle Teaching in the Classroom
Today, students respond best to a calm and fair approach to a classroom's management. Gentleness reduces stress, removes tension, and alleviates distraction. Additionally, enforcing classroom rules consistently and calmly decreases the likelihood that your students will express misbehavior. Instead, they will gradually become more responsible and respectful of things such as boundaries and of those around them.
Listening to your students is of the utmost importance, especially your young learners who struggle with things like self-expression, patience, and understanding. For them, a toy being lost, for example, is their biggest problem that day. Explaining them the solution and remaining calm while they are in distress will help with how they approach similar situations in the future. Another example is when two students fight. This is especially prevalent in young children. You want to teach them how they can verbally communicate better in the future so that situation doesn't repeat itself. At the end of the day, you want to be firm but not strict, calm but not indifferent.
Gentleness Isn't Weakness
Gentle teaching isn't just about keeping calm and being a good listener, and it isn't a sign of weakness either. It says you are confident and capable of overcoming your students' obstacles with them, that you are in control and your students trust you to look after them. Learning to be patient takes work, but the results are worth it. Minor inconveniences won't get on your nerves, you'll learn to tackle misbehavior better, and you'll understand your students' needs to a point where no one has to feel distressed, as they know they are well looked after.