Deep into my second week as a teacher I've found that I am far more patient than I ever thought I was.
Only twice have I lost my cool. The first time was when one of my six year olds kept interrupting class to complain that he was hungry. Now this was the last class of the day so the kid probably was hungry. There's not much I can do about it. After a couple minutes of the child loudly calling my name and feigning debilitating hunger pains (no one get up in arms, the kid had eaten lunch two hours earlier and I'm fairly certain that no one can die of hunger after a two hour fast) my patience reached its limits. I stopped the class, looked the kid in the eyes, and pouring on the sass and attitude asked, "Awww, are you hungry? That's too bad. You get to go home in twenty minutes. Eat there." Six year olds expect to do the sassing, not to be sassed at. With eyes the size of saucers, the kid sat down and kept his mouth shut for the rest of class.
Yesterday I had to deal with the most dreaded of childhood behaviors, the incessant why question. After answering the little girls "why" five or six times I'd had enough. "Because I'm bigger than you!"
I'm not sure if giving a child attitude and intimidation are the kinds of things they teach you in college, but they sure worked for me.
The children say they like me because I'm not mean and I don't yell. I guess that was how their last teacher handled things. I like to think that my unconventional methods are acceptable becuase they mean I don't have to raise my voice. Either way, it's working.