Seven Qualities of Assertive Teachers.
Do you lose control of your learners? Do you raise your voice enough for it to distress you? Have you resorted to “put downs” when all else seems to be failing? If so, join the many teachers who at times feel overwhelmed by a room full of active learners.
Assertiveness is a learned skill and we recognize it as strength in ourselves and the people we know. We teach it to our children and love to see it in our learners. Being assertive leads to constructive and satisfying communication, and resolution of conflicts, where we take into account our own needs and the needs of others. To practice and improve your assertiveness and teach it to others try the following.
- Body language will give the other person an idea of how confident you are; how much self-respect you have; and how honest you are with your emotions. Stand straight, maintain constant eye contact and use clear, fluent and confident speech.
- Basic assertion will see you expressing your own needs. Empathic assertion will take in to consideration the needs of other as well. Confronting assertion will have you stating what did happen in a situation; what was supposed to happen; and what you would like to see happen.
- Compromise and negotiation are all part of being assertive. It is when you need to problem solve for a workable solution.
- Try the broken record. This is when you need to “get the job done” in a way that you need it done. Repetition of a request usually will work.
- Use “I” statements to let the learners know how you feel and how personal the request is. This will allow them to see that you respect your own point of view. It is also blameless.
- It is ok to say NO to unfair and unreasonable requests. Say it with confidence and an explanation if necessary. Sometimes a NO can be used as an authoritative answer. You are the teacher and responsible for your learners. Respect comes from fairness and this is in needing to saying yes and no.
- Be direct and clear in your speech so all learners understand your requests.
Remember you are the role model for your learners so be confident in your assertiveness. You will obtain a high level of control in your class and teach your students the desired classroom behavior.