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Re: Not letting them get to you
It's not a technique you can use all of the time, but one of the tools in your box can be to diffuse a negative comment and de-escalate it with a light-hearted deflection. I learned this from a veteran teacher. It goes something like, "Hey, give me a little break will ya? I need some support here." or "Okay, I get it. Now can you give me the benefit of the doubt while I figure this out." The idea is not sarcasm, but something cute-ish or sympathetic to diffuse the anger. You're not quite turning the other cheek, but you're buying yourself time and allowing the student time to back down on their aggression.
These may not be the best examples I've given here, but I've found that the more I can use this with the few kids who are looking for a fight, the more they'll stop trying. It also communicates that you've heard them, but you aren't receiving their comment as a serious judgement on your competence.
Ok, so I am a very sensitive person. Some would probably call me a snowflake. Part of this personality means that I care way too much about what people think - including students.
For any other golden retriever types that just want to be liked, how do you keep those few problem students from getting to you?
I deal with around 350 awesome students every day, and maybe 3 or 4 that are mean and disrespectful to me.
I know I need a mindset change of some kind, just don't know how to accomplish that - this is really more of a therapy question than a band director question, but I know some of you have wisdom!