Some years I get more than one.
I have had the mini kind and the deluxe ones.
I love each one despite the fact they do not always make things easier.
There are days when I see my little Hoover and I start getting a headache.
Then, there are some days when my Hoover is out of sight and I can breathe a little easier. But even out of sight, my Hoovers are usually in my thoughts and on my heart.
But I am not talking about vacuums.....
I am talking about our little ones who seem to suck everything out of us.
One year I had a few Hoovers that were part of the Ponytail Posse....GIRL DRAMA.
Another year, there were a few Hoovers that were part of the Tears, Tantrums, and Tiaras group.
I have seen the Hoovers in other classrooms. You can hear the whoosh as you walk down the halls.
I see Hoovers being part of the chain gang as I walk by the playground...they are always standing against the chain linked fence.
Somewhere on a Hoover you will find the tag that reads Handle with Care.
Here is the thing about our Hoovers. They are often the children that we find ourselves repeating the same things to over and over. We seem to always be talking to them about not talking too much, about being kind, about keeping others safe, about using their words when they are upset, about not taking things from others, PLUS many, many other things that seem to just wear us out!!!
Have you ever stopped to think about how we have all the patience in the world for our kiddos who have trouble learning to read or trouble with math....we would never, ever, EVER think about having them stand in time out or moving their clip when they were reading and couldn't decode the word "jumping". BUT, when we have kiddos come to school and start hitting or screaming bad words at another child when things aren't going their way, we find ourselves getting frustrated with that child for not meeting our behavior expectations.
When I first started teaching, I had the amazing opportunity to hear Ruby Payne speak. If you don't know who she is, you must read her book about understanding children of poverty.
When I heard her speak, she also shared how you can tell when someone is lying. She gave a little tutorial about asking questions and watching a person's eyes. After establishing a base line, you can then ask the question that you are trying to determine whether someone is telling you the truth or a lie about....and based on what they do with their eyes you'll know. It has been AMAZING and so true!!!!
**********end of squirrel**********
I know I will always have a Hoover in my classroom. This could be a child that is a HUGE behavior challenge or this could be a child who is facing HUGE battles themselves that I often don't feel equipped to help them face by myself. The other day I was looking through my class pictures. I could easily remember each child that tugged on my heart strings. Seeing some of those little faces made me start crying again because I remember the battles some of those Firsties were facing. I then looked at some of the faces of the Hoovers who were HUGE behavior challenges. I wish I knew some of the things I know now and could have helped them and MYSELF more.
Most of these things are things that I have learned through Conscious Discipline but some of these things are lessons God has taught me while in the trenches with the kings and queens of the HOOVERS. =)
*The Only Person You Can Change is Yourself:
Whether we admit it or not we all want others to meet our expectations. We want our husbands to do certain things without being told. We want our children to clean up and make responsible choices without being told. We want traffic to move quickly when we are in a hurry. We want for things to be easier for us and those we care about. What we have to realize is when we try and make those things happen we are usually going to end up disappointed and frustrated.
I can only pray that I start to change myself so I can be ready to face those frustrating challenges with more patience and understanding.
No 6 year old wakes up in the morning and decides he is going to try and drive his teacher up the wall today. He doesn't decide on the bus in the morning that he is going to try and hit as many people as he can. Whatever obstacles our kiddos face each day are what affect the child we greet at the door each morning. I can only try my best to be the person I want others to become.
*Children are either extending love or calling for love
Our kiddos use the skills they have been taught to meet their needs....and most of these are skills they have modeled for them on a daily basis at home or even through TV, movies, and video games. We often see this in the classroom when they scream at others when they are angry or hit when they are frustrated. We teachers often find ourselves being manipulative at times threatening to take away some privilege or to reward those who exhibit the behaviors we want such as being kind, helpful and respectful.
Our little Hoovers are crying out for our love and help. And like the time we pour into helping our learners who struggle academically, we need to make a commitment to help our kiddos who continue to find themselves in situations where they don't know how to handle their emotions. I always try and tell my kiddos that I will always love them but I might not always love the things they do. Part of my job is to help others see the beautiful heart I see in each one of them.
*What we say to our children becomes their inner speech for the rest of their lives.
I think we can all relate to this one and recall hurtful words from our childhood that still linger in our heads. These are the words we often remember when things are not going well and when we are having struggles of our own. When someone has told you that you are worthless, those are the words you remember when things at work are not going well....you fail to recall all of the kind words that once encouraged you because it is easier to remember the "bad" things about ourselves. I will admit that I have told a child that they are being hurtful and mean. I know because of my frustrations I did not help the child realize that I was talking more about their behavior than them. But to a little kid, all they probably hear is the teacher they love more than anything thinks they are mean.
WOW! Does this make you stop and realize how important our words our not only to our Hoovers but to ALL children in our classroom???!!??? I know I always try and apologize to a child when I think my words might have been hurtful but I know I might not always do that.....especially when I am telling the child for the 59th time that day that hitting hurts and when you want a friend to move you say "May you please let me back in my spot." Once our patience starts to wear thin so do our words...and it is those words that pierce the heart.
I pray that God helps me each day have the Heart of a Teacher who just tries the best she can to love and teach from the heart. Although this little movie gives me the warm fuzzies, I know reality hits me Monday morning at 7:40. I hang up my Wonder Woman cape up at the door because when I step inside I know I am not the Super Teacher the world expects us to be. I can only pray to have a Heart of Patience and to remember that God put each child in my room for a reason....and they are often the ones to teach me a lesson. =)
From My Heart to Yours,