Monday, 16 April 2007


one of my students said to me today "how come you never shout or get angry?"

i thought this would be a good a dawah opportunity as any, so answered "well, it's against my religion to get angry"

he then proceeded to give me a list of muslims at the college who are notorious for their lack of restraint in this department.


anger management is a big problem for some (but not most!) of the students at my college, and they know it. in a recent survey conducted to find out what activities they wanted for enrichment, anger management classes were in the top three (the other two were driving theory and sign language, in case you're interested!)

i think a lot of the problems with the resit students (where the problem lies) is that they are used to being told they will fail, or have often dropped out of schools to avoid such comments, so get very defensive if they think they are being put down in any way. which is why i'm careful to avoid using insults as a form of discipline- believe me it does happen! but one of the things my students cannot say about me is that i'm patronising (i'm sure there's plenty of other things they say instead!)

i'm coaching one of the girls in my tutor group to count to ten in order to calm down, instead of thumping the wall until she bleeds, or swearing at the teacher while storming out of the class- both of which have been done in the past! i did try and suggest meditating at one point, which met with a sceptical roll of the eyes. oh well.

i am not by any means saying i'm perfect in this department, and these posts are meant as a reminder to myself first and foremost. in fact, i'm thinking back to a couple of days ago, when i was unable to control my anger in a key situation, and as for shouting- i would most likely lose my voice if i even tried! but i do try and follow the sunnah of staying silent when angry... most of the time, especially when it comes to pointing out someone's fault .. they are aware of it anyway usually and don't need to be told.

anyway, if that girl had been muslim i would have told her to make wudu,as it really does work. as the prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam said "Anger is the effect of shaytaan and shaytaan was created from fire. And water extinguishes fire"

Allahumma-ghfir li dhanbi, wa adhhib ghayDHa qalbi, wa ajirni mina sh-shayTaan

‘O Allah, forgive my sin, remove the anger in my heart, and protect me from Satan.’


Saabirah said...

I had to smile when I read thae first sentence; in all the years I've known you (gosh that makes me sound old!) I've barely seen you get angry. Masha'Allah.

"..i'm careful to avoid using insults as a form of discipline.." When I was in school I was once cornered by some of my teachers, to my surprise, and told I wasn't working to my "best potential". It came as a surprise because I wasn't doing badly at all. I don't know what they thought, maybe I didn't seem stressed like an A grade pupil should hence they had to apply pressure on me to keep me on track :-S but I insisted that I'm doing OK which was met with "You shouldn't be doing OK, you should be doing your utmost best which you're not". Strangely they had nothing to qualify their comments with aas my grades weren't suffering. Anyway I did push on and eventually got excellent grades but it could have dented my self-esteem and made me think "what! My best isn't good enough!? Stuff this" and gone the other way. So, back to my point - how do you discipline without it affecting your students' self esteem?

hema said...

a good question ms patient one:) and one i think deserves a separate post.
but here's that worked for me just today.

approach them in a nonconfrontational manner. a student always gets very defensive when i single him out (why does everyone always pick on me, i hate this college) so today i walked up to him, said how are you? how were holidays? and then asked him to put his phone away. it worked!

the student should know it's not personal and you don't hate them. the girl i mentioned in the post walked out of her maths class agian today, and came to tell me her teacher hated her, and i spent about half an hour convincing her that he had no reason to..

as for motivating them to do coursework, i'm not doing a very good job of that with some students. aside from doing it for them, all i can do is keep whinging about wanting it in. the college has a policy of not withdrawing students unless absolutley necessary. and a group were complaining today about not being pushed enough, and we should be more strict and just kick people out! i guess you just can't win

but anyway, back to the point. any tips on getting coursework in..

YMiss said...

I had that saabirah! But they were right most of time I wasn't working to my potential but hey i'm still where I wanted to be and I got here mostly through a laid back attempt...guess I'll be making up for it when I become a tecaher, insha Allah