Puberty: Everything is better than teaching
I would describe my class as "lively". Since the summer holidays are over, the students in my 6th grade are "the big ones". In most other federal states the children would already be in secondary school. In Berlin this is the last class of primary school. In the 6th grade many things are interesting, lessons are not for everyone. But TikTok and above all: friends.
Since Corona, this 6th grade is no longer "lively", but rather challenging for me. Corona provides so much more opportunity to spread unrest throughout the class. What I would not have addressed before Corona, I have to comment or punish today:
- Renting an eraser or ink eraser from other children
- Do not wash your hands
- Want to swap food with each other
- sneeze "wrong", namely in the hand instead of the crook of your arm
- Sitting too close together
- Violate hygiene rules in any way
Those who were class clowns before now have even more scope to make an impact
A few days ago, a child piled up his tissues on the neighboring table while the child was working outside. When he came back in and discovered the used handkerchiefs, there was no more teaching for 5 minutes, thats how loud the yelling was, thats how long it took to disinfect the table. In the end it was a stupid prank and the handkerchiefs were only soaked in water.
Such jokes, which might have been funny without a Corona pandemic, now feel threatening to children.
Whoever sneezes is cool or is bullied
At the same time, however, I also observe unfavourable group dynamics such as bullying. In the past, children used to insult each other with "stupid", "dumb" or "geek". Now its more like "you Corona!"
If a child sneezes or coughs several times a day, it is avoided by the other children. In such a case a few days ago, all the children who sat next to the child in question wanted to be moved. The whole class then wanted to decide who could stay in the classroom and who could not.
It is sometimes difficult for me to grasp whether such behaviour is more the result of own fears or whether one child also wants to exclude the other.
And then there are the silly people who use the opportunity to pretend to cough and sneeze. These children want to be sent to wash their hands so that they dont have to fill out worksheets on "past tense in German". They then feel super cool again and are heroically celebrated for their played sneezing.
Solution: Compassion and talking
I like teaching, with or without challenge. Being a teacher is a lifelong learning process, just like being a parent (lifelong education). In difficult, tense phases it helps me to speak openly and honestly with the children. I want to convey to them that I would like to understand them. In return, they must understand that certain basic rules must be observed.
What can you as a parent do when problems arise in class?
You as a parent naturally know your child best and can interpret your childs behaviour. If you notice that your child feels uncomfortable or anxious in class, for example because other children come too close to him or because he is being bullied, you have the following options:
- Arrange an appointment with the teacher or send an e-mail to the teacher
- Contact the parent representatives
- Arrange a meeting with the school management in case of emergency
By the way: During the Corona pandemic, parents evenings either do not take place at all or only in a very reduced form. Nevertheless, it is important that you as a parent are allowed to express your concerns and feelings.
Conclusion: I see one of my most important tasks as being to ensure appreciation and good social interaction. With or without Corona. With Corona, I need much more tact and sensitivity so that I can analyse all my fears, worries, but also insults appropriately and react to them appropriately. Corona also makes children feel a basic tension, which is quickly released in the form of provocation or argument. This is why it is so important that schools and families stay in contact to exchange information about challenges and find solutions together.
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