For some reason we have been receiving the National Geographic channel for free this month. Which, don't get me wrong, Brent and I have been totally pumped about. There are some very interesting shows on this channel and just today Brent was able to watch a special on air force one. Sweet!
If any of you are familiar with this channel you may be familiar with the show: The Dog Whisperer. If you aren't familiar--let me brief you: Cesar Millan is the dog whisperer and goes into homes where families are having problems with their dogs...he walks through the door and can get any dog to obey in a matter of minute it seems. Even the most aggressive pets are calm in his presence.
It is a little surprising that I like this show, however, I feel that if I watch it I can have a pocket full of tricks in case I am attacked someday (which I just feel deep down I will be, it's true).
But why else am I interested in this show? 9 times out of 10 the problem is not with the dog it is with the owners (surprising? absolutely not). So really, Cesar trains the "humans" (he refers to them as that which cracks me up), to be the "pack leader." Their dog needs to know they are in charge. However, the pack leader must also always remain calm, even when being assertive.
The other afternoon after watching an episode I told Brent that the same principles really apply to me and my students. I must assert my power and leadership as the pack leader, and remain calm even when they are being hyper-active (some dogs even pee themselves when they get too wound up about something, luckily I have not had this issue yet in my classroom). Typically dogs lash out and are aggressive when they a) do not know who the pack leader is or b) feel that they are the pack leader. Same with my students. So I keep things in order. :)
There is one technique though that Cesar does that I have yet to try: when a dog is lashing out or being hyper he authoritatively puts his hand out, stands over them and stares them down. I think it would probably work, but I'll stick with just giving them "the look" from my desk or near by vicinity :)
So, whether you have dogs or children or students...just be sure to let them know that you are the pack leader (and check out the dog whisperer sometime!)