Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


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A Teacher’s View of the Book: The Strong-Willed Child

img_9443Strong-willed children grow into strong-willed adults who can either create beauty and lead others to greatness or let their strong spirit hurt and squash those around them. The beginning of the road to greatness or ruin lies with the choices the parents make in teaching the child how to use that strong will.

My parents had to stand up to me many times because I’m one of those strong-willed people. I’ve gotten a taste of what they went through during my years as a teacher, especially a year and a half ago. I had one especially strong-willed student who was leading the whole class toward being rebellious. With God’s help and courage, I took him on, and he eventually left the school. I couldn’t change that student, but I could let him receive the consequences for his behavior.

The New Strong-Willed Child

Receiving appropriate consequences for behavior is how strong-willed children learn, according to Dr. James Dobson in The New Strong-Willed Child. From my personal experience (I hadn’t learned how to submit well to female authority (I was fine with male, but always wanted to buck females) until I got fired a few years back, so I had to learn the hard way) and from teaching tough, inner-city students, I see that it takes persistence and a ferocious will to keep standing up to a child who just wants what he or she wants and always is pushing for that.

Reading The New Strong-Willed Child gave me so much encouragement about how I handled my classroom: I stood up to those children because they wanted to see if I would let them get away with disrespect, cheating, and laziness. Dr. Dobson tells many stories of children who want to see if they can get around what their parents were asking them to do, and I was surprised by how much ENCOURAGMENT came through the book.

Dr. Dobson draws from being a classroom teacher, a child psychologist, and a parent of a strong-willed child himself to share solutions and advice mixed with much care. He does not want to see parents bewildered by their children, and he knows that parents CAN parent strong-willed children well.

A strong-willed child makes the parents (or teacher) look bad by not being able to control the child. If the parent had a compliant child, the parents would look normal and like great parents. The strong-willed child gives parents a test of their leadership, their authority, and has so much energy to keep on doing it. These children like to take on the authority figure to see if they can break the adult and get what they want. Dr. Dobson encourages parents to just keep on standing up to these children, molding them, teaching them to listen to authority. It takes so much energy to stand up to a little one who is pushing the limits every day, but the child will learn if the parent is consistent.

Reading The New Strong-Willed Childmade me thankful that I held strong when teaching and that my parents held strong with me. It is exhausting, but worth it—the children learn that they must listen to you. And strong-willed children become amazing strong-willed adults who change the world.

This book is worth reading. Check it out: 🙂


The New Strong-Willed Child

Peace!

~Mary Hope

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope

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How Becoming Pregnant Helped Me Become a More Calm Teacher

Junior high students have a reputation of showing disrespect and being hard to handle, and many adults don’t want to work with them. I started working the junior high students accidentally in a way because my college professors thought I couldn’t handle high school students, so when they placed me for practicums and student teaching they put me with junior high students!

I had positive experiences with junior high students throughout my teacher training — I saw they are funny, awkward and need encouragement just like the rest of us. One student made me cupcakes when I finished student teaching!

Jump ahead to last year; after I started being the lead teacher, I learned how vicious and mean junior high students can be. It hurt to have them not like me at times and show it in their actions and words; those actions made me more anxious about work. I also wanted to do well at my job, so that I could come back the next year if possible.

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Tips on Teaching at a Catholic or Private School (You are entering a new culture…)

After student teaching at a public school, I found I fit better into teaching at private schools, so over the last seven years I have worked at five different private schools; two Catholic schools and three private Christian schools — one international, one urban, and one suburban. Private schools have a different culture than public school that that takes time to learn.

Have you started teaching at a private school? Want some tips on how to transition even more strongly into that school’s culture? Here you go:

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School is Out! Happy First Day of Summer

Releasing my students into summer happened a couple of weeks ago (huzzah!). Seeing the room without 34 desks, chairs, and students made it feel huge. On my last day at school, I took time to just sit and my desk and write out that list of suggested books for the summer (see: Young Adult Fiction to Read This Summer)

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The Second Grade’s Chicks!

The second grade students and the teacher are raising chicks! I stopped by to see them this afternoon and got a hold of them in my hands. These checks remind me of fun times I had when I was a child,  and we had chicks in a big box in our kitchen. Great memories! 🐥 

-Mary Hope

Copyright 2017


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Why Is It Hard To Apply For Jobs?

IMG_0477Especially after being rejected for many teaching jobs the years before, last year it was HARD to start filling out those Applitrack applications after my husband pushed me. He believed I could land another teaching job before I could.

Here’s a passage I wrote last July when I was applying to jobs and trying to figure out my negative emotions; I was answering the question, “Why is applying for teaching jobs so hard?” My answer back then: “I feel shaky inside and scared of being rejected, so it is hard to even try.

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Compliments from Students?! Wow!!

“Your teaching is 3000 times better than our literature teacher last year!” One of my students said this to me this afternoon, and he explained that my way of teaching writing helped him feel confident for our ACT Aspire test that we did this week. His words made my heart happy!


Yesterday all of our students took a writing test that I had been working with them toward all year. I taught them brainstorming techniques, about thesis statements, and tips on time writing test, and yesterday was the day where they put it all together.
I saw six of my seventh graders using their brainstorming techniques, and I heard from a lot of the other teachers that my students used their brainstorming skills on the writing test! Several six grade girls let me knows that knowing how to write a thesis statement really helped them on this test. One of them started blushing, but I’m really glad she let me know.
To top it all off, the eighth graders, who have challenged me all year, admitted that what they had been learning really did help them on the test. One young man said, “what you taught us really helped me on the test! I brainstorm for about five minutes and then I took the rest of the time to write my essay.”

My response was, “Hearing this made my year!!!”
I had been hired with the goal in mind to help our students improve their writing, and hearing this feedback from the students helps me know that I have accomplished at least some of my goal. I am so thankful for my students and that they are learning!
-Mary Hope 
Copyright 2017