One of the real highlights of the TFA mid-year intensive was spending some time hearing from behaviour-management guru Bill Rogers for a couple of half-days. While we were debriefing with some drinks afterwards I had a rare moment of insight and commented that “the tough part about all this will be when we get in the classroom and find out that this stuff’s not magic”.
Sure enough, I got back into the classroom and realised that while the strategies we learnt are fantastic (and make no mistake, they’ve changed the way I manage the classroom), they aren’t magic. The tough kids are still tough, kids still want to disobey instructions whether they are given as a stupid question or as a clear direction. The fact remains that we’re dealing with teenagers: independent, intelligent (and it’s important to remind myself of that one), human beings with their own sets of ideas about how they should approach any class. Sadly, but also happily, there is no magic to do away with that.