In fact HE came back again! I was reading the "Effective teachers" bible when the book bounced out of my hands, fell on the floor flat open and from the usual greenish hectoplasmatic cloud the spirit-in-the-book came out yawning:

Gordon: “Yahooowaauhhh!!! So you’re a total failure as a communicator!”
Witchy: “How do you dare!? You son of a bitch of a genius!! I’m very sympathetic with my kids… ”
Gordon: “Really!? Are sure? What is your acceptance threshold”
Witchy: “What is whaaat??”
Gordon: “I mean: how many things can you stand in your students’ behaviour? One, two, one hundred?”
Witchy: “I don’t know… I’m very patient with them… well, actually I think I can accept almost anything… ”
Gordon: “Anything? Let’s make an example, if a student decides to smoke a big stinky cigar under your nose what’s your reaction?”
Witchy: “I’ll stifle the cigar on his forehead! Sometimes I can’t forget I’m a witch… noooo, only joking! But this is really above my acceptance threshold level. Generally, when I'm calm and happy, I can stand quite a lot of things, even watching them chewing gum!”
Gordon: “In fact teachers' level of acceptance varies according to their mood. Give a look at this hologram!”

He pointed to the wall with his greenish forefinger and the Flash animation below appeared by magic. (Almost by magic: it took me a whole Sunday afternoon to develop it… ;-))



Witchy: “Ok! It’s unrealistic to believe we can stand everything in our students’ behaviour and, maybe, it’s not even right, especially when it infringes school’s rules. But how can we convince the monsters… sorry! The sweet adorable children... to stop doing what they are doing if we don’t like it? It seems that whatever we do or say it’s wrong and can create a conflict. (See the twelve barriers to communication…) ”

The genius-in-a-book started to stroke his greenish moustache as if he was trying to focus on some very important points then started speaking again…

Gordon: “What would you say to a boy who was listening to music with earphones during your witchcraft class? Say at least five sentences!”
“I will say, in order of probability...:

• If you don’t stop immediately I will strangle you with the wire of your earphones!
• You will eat your stereo if you don’t turn it off in a second!
• You do stop doing that or I will tell your father to whip you to death!
• If you don’t turn off your radio I will jump on it and use its pieces as earrings!
• You will be turned into a giant deaf frog if you don’t turn off that radio and I promise you won’t be able to listen to music any more in your froggy deaf life!”

Gordon: “I didn’t imagine you could be sooo sweeet, Witchy! Definitely my ideal woman… Ok! Let’s be serious and tell me which word is most recurrent in your… kind requests?
Witchy: “Uhmmmm… I think the *you* pronoun !”
Gordon: “That’s it! All your messages start or contain the *you* pronoun.That’s why they sound so menacing!”
Witchy: “Wasn't it, perhaps, because I threatened to turn the boy into a giant deaf frog?”
Gordon: “Definitely NOT! It is the way your request is formulated. *You* is a black magic word: it means all the responsibility of the student’s misbehaviour is on the student’s side and you will make use of your power to stop it. This cannot but create feelings of frustration and resentment in the poor kid! ”
Witchy: “But what can I do? Just let him keep on listening to his favourite music?”
Gordon: “You can try to express the same ideas in a different way by using the *I* pronoun. In fact these are called *I-messages* and belong to the sphere of white good-hearted magic. Now let’s make a transformation exercise, like the ones in old grammar books. Restate all your You-messages into I-message form. Go!”

Witchy: “I’m so disgusted with your behaviour that if you don’t stop immediately I will strangle you with the wire of your earphones!

Gordon: “NO NO!! This is a You-message disguised as an I-message!!! You can do better! ”
Witchy: “OK! I'll try…

• I am very upset by the fact that you prefer to listen to music instead of paying attention to me. Actually I feel so upset that I can't concentrate on my lesson properly…
• I can't go on with my lesson if you keep on listening to music. I ask you to stop.
• I would be very sad if I saw you turning into a giant deaf frog and I don't think girls would be very fond of you anymore…

Gordon: “Ok Ok! You need a bit more training, but you've done very well, up to the third sentence. Now you must have noticed that the behaviour we've discussed belongs to an area we can call teacher's problems. What happens if we have to deal with the area called student's problems?”
Witchy: “I don't know! Tell me!"

The giant-in-the-book released a giant yawn and said:

Gordon: "Too heavy boring stuff for me now. You wizard teachers are so dumb that it's necessary to explain in detail even the most obvious things. Enough for me now. See you tomorrow!!!"

And he left me with this terrible question: How should I behave when the problem is not mine but the student's? I could say to myself: Who cares? It is not my problem after all… but you know that your favourite witch would never say a thing like that so…

See you in a week!!
Kisses from Hazel

P.S.: Don't forget to read the first three parts of this story!!!

Effective teachers part 1

The CLIL brothers part 1

The CLIL brothers part 2

And also do the effectiveness test!!!

But if you really want to read something serious about Thomas Gordon click on the link below...
It's ThomasGordon's official Website!!!

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