My life as a teacher is filled with acronyms, so many I find myself getting them mixed up and confused. Today I went to a professional development and learned yet some more acronyms to add to my repertoire. I will apply many of those acronyms to my professional life in hopes of bettering myself as a teacher. One acronym in particular stood out to me. When I thought about it from a professional point of view, I know I had it mastered. However, when I thought about it in the context of my personal life, that's when I wasn't so confident. That acronym is QTIP:
Thinking about it from a professional standpoint, regarding my students, I never take anything personally. I understand that whatever they're throwing at me has nothing to do with me. They are a product of their environment and my job is to correct misbehaviors, praise and reinforce the correct behaviors and move on. That's what I do and it works.
What about my personal life though? What about when someone does or says something to me that I take personally? Am I living by QTIP, something that has helped me have so much student success? The answer is no. It doesn't happen very often, but there are times when I take someone's actions or words personally without considering that it really isn't me this is about. When a person says or does something to me that I take personally, I really need to consider the situation. What I need to do and what I will do is step back when I start to feel offended or worried at a person's actions or words. I will consider the other person and the events that have brought them to this point. Once you analyze a person in an objective way, you realize it really isn't about you--it's about what's happened in this person's life leading up to this moment. There's always a trigger and as an educator the first thing I do is examine what exactly that trigger is. This is also what I need to do with grownups. As a teacher, I acknowledge the trigger, and try to prevent that trigger in the future. If you prevent the trigger, you'll prevent the behavior. With my students, I model my expectations for appropriate behavior and appropriate responses but with adults, it becomes trickier. They aren't as moldable anymore. To me with adults, it's more about not acknowledging inappropriate remarks or behaviors and then modeling the appropriate response through actions. Hopefully, through QTIP, I will be able to consider the person in question, realize and understand that there are events in their past that have triggered this response, and simply ignore unsavory behavior.
I feel so lucky to be in the profession I am, because I am always reflecting on how to make myself a better teacher and in this case, how to be a better person. This post might have been incredibly boring to most of you, but it's what I learned. So, go QTIP it up!