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Monday, August 29, 2005

BE the Alpha Dog…

Claudette and I spent the weekend visiting my cousin, her sister and their respective mates at their, soon to be, retirement place on the coast in Pacific Grove, Calif. Two pleasantly cool days spent enjoying the soothing sound of Pacific waves crashing the shore line while the home front roasted in 90+F heat.

My cousins are full blooded teachers of what must be many, many, many years of experience (2nd grade and Kindergarten) and cousin-in-law, Tony, is a retired teacher while Terry, the other cousin-in-law, is just an ordinary…..rocket scientist! Really!

What a wealth of minds to pick from for advice in the up coming school year!

Anyway, between glasses of cold beer on the terrace of the restaurant at Spanish Bay and more wine attending Carmel’s outdoor Theater in the Forest presentation of “Beauty and the Beast”, I came away with the following two teaching tips.

#1 Be the “alpha dog”…

When escorting the kids to lunch or the library, always lead the line. Never follow. They should always be behind you and in line. Show them who’s the boss right off otherwise you’ll have them running farther and farther ahead and finally off the leash. Thanks Mary!

#2 It’s OK to cry…

If you have a crying kid demanding attention, just gently let them know it’s ok to cry but to go over in some isolated part of the room until they feel they’d like to come back and join the group. After a while, they’ll see that they are not getting the attention they wanted and are missing out on all that Kindergarten fun. Thanks Connie!

Connie had no advice for me if it was the teacher that needed a good cry…

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