Dealing With Criticism, Guilt and Shame in the Classroom

by Stephen T. McClard

When you think of shame, what comes to your mind? How about guilt?

Many people

associate shame and guilt as one emotion, but in reality they are very different. By definition, guilt is the "I have done someting bad" emotion. By contrast, shame is the "I am bad" emotion. As you continue reading, consider how your actions can impact guilt or shame in a child. Ask yourself if there may be ways to change these emotions into success for your students.

Shame is felt when others are aware of our incorrect intentions or actions and can often lead to feelings of worthlessness. Guilt, on the other hand, is the emotion that is felt when no one else knows about our intentions or actions. I clarify this because it makes a noticeable difference to the person making the choice. The difference between success and failure in dealing with our classroom management can depend on our perception of these two emotions. A high percentage of poor behavior in the classroom will elicit neither shame nor guilt. This is because the individual taking the action may be unaware of the impact his/her actions have on others, or they may simply lack the related values associated with their actions. Dealing with poor behavior then boils down to the impact we have as educators when revealing the poor behavior to the student. Evoking a guilt response in the student is an inevitable result of negative feedback. Avoiding this certainty will only allow the problem to fester. If we can first elicit a guilt response indirectly, we create the best chance for success. Allowing the student the autonomy to choose the correct path will be the most effective way to make first contact with poor behavior. Evoking guilt in a student indirectly can be very powerful and may allow the student to avoid shame. Guilt can lead to empathy if skillfully managed for the success of the student. When it becomes necessary for us to take a student aside or openly correct a repeated poor behavior, the emotion can then become shame. When our corrections reveal shame in a student, the reaction can differ depending on the personality of the student. In some cases, we will have success and in other cases the student will choose to react poorly. The defining factor in this will be determined by the approach we take. Delivering negative feedback can be a dicey proposition. Our approach can make all the difference and will determine our overall ability to build or kill rapport with our students.

praise what is unexpected. Praise Last with Correction First If you are going to add correction and praise together. The inner voice is normally grumpy. "Tom. Praise can be effective. do not praise first. Verbal Judo. Revealing your contempt builds ground for the student to stand against you. Keep your anger. so ignore it. It was hard to believe you kept yourself so focused. Remaining calm and assertive will allow you to build ground for the student to walk with you. wanting to take revenge or looking for someone to use as an example. Within the tone of your voice and the words you use. you can either turn off a student forever or create ground for him/her to walk with you. 3. A calm and assertive attitude will be the key to overcoming the natural gut reaction of the student. but praise for what is expected should be avoided. If we are merely in a bad mood.Here are a few tips to take these emotions of the heart and turn them into success every time: Tips for Delivering Negative Feedback 1. I can't wait to hear you again tomorrow. Don¶t just say. Learn to control it and make it obey with positive intentions. Be the Bigger Person The first step to success is to answer the main question: Why am I correcting this student? If the answer to this question is anything other than allowing the student to become a better person. You showed so much emotion. then correction will only backfire." Be specific and create a mental picture. 2. Sprinkle on the Praise! Praise builds rapport and gives you ground to stand with the student when negative feedback is necessary. I'm impressed. harsh emotion and condescension out of your approach to discipline." 4. Eliminate Bias In his book. but you need to stay away from B natural in this key." . Tom. Instead. "I loved the way you played that solo Tom. Praise often and be specific. I loved the way you played that solo. then our motives are not true. "Good job. George Thompson says that it is important to eliminate bias in communication at all costs.

Using a metaphor to further build context for proper behavior is one of the most entertaining and pleasant exercises a teacher can endeavor to accomplish. The fact that I made them believe in being consistent sets up the expectation that they should. you avoid taking the chance of getting in trouble (why not). Your "but" should have as much impact as possible. Paint a mental pictures. can you please refrain from blurting out (ask)? The class will run much more efficiently if only one person speaks at a time (why). I can then continue reminding them each day to be consistent. While you are laughing at that last sentence. if you criticize first and then praise. A metaphor paints a mental picture that contains all the elements of a well thought-out lesson. Answer the question. I noticed that you used a B natural in the key of B flat. but I was very impressed with your tone quality and mature sound. the praise is the focus of the argument and will assist you in building ground with the student. "Tom. 5. The following is an example of a great metaphor that I use in my band classes: I use a metaphor that I call the consistency principle. We can work on that. All I have to do is have them imagine what it would be like to be me. On the other hand. Create Context Creating context with your students can be an amazing force multiplier. In addition. "Tom." Creating context will also involve answering the why for everything you say. Simply asking or telling a student to change a behavior is not nearly as powerful as asking with a picture. Evoking a previously learned metaphor can bring the lesson back to a student¶s mind in a matter of seconds. I ask the students to mentally place themselves in my position in the front of the room. I then ask them to remain consistent with these expectations. It is like a magic trick and gets them to empathize with me. I ask them to imagine what expectations they would have if they were the teacher needing to teach the class. Great job!" This "but" comes across much better. Final Thoughts . You will have a much better chance of avoiding a detention if you show me that you can be respectful (positive ending). The consistency principle states that all people want to be seen as consistent. ³Why is this important to me?´ 6. remember this tip: Use humor often.This is an ineffective way to praise and correct because your students will learn to anticipate "but" as a negative at the end of all your praise.

edarticle. we are likely to minimize the need for consequences all together. When we take this step. but when the students create their own high expectations. It is one thing for us to have high expectations for our students.html .All of these suggestions create a basic foundation for pushing students to create their own high expectations and walk with us instead of against us. we create the best possible environment for students to turn guilt and shame into Source : http://www.