Sunday, August 14, 2016

Your Class List: Whine and Wine

Do you get a class list before school starts? I don't know about you but I am always anxious to look at my class list to see if I will be getting the annoying sweet younger sibling I have heard stories about. My heart also skips a beat with fear joy for "that student" that I have been hearing about that is just a "perfect fit" for my room. That is when you run to your teacher buddies and start the WHINE of "You'll never believe who I have in my room!" or "Oh My Gosh!!! Let me tell you about this kid that's going to be in my room this year!" And when you go home that's when you pull out the BIG WINE glass!

Click on the picture if you want to check it out!

Now, I am giggling as I type this and trying to bring a little humor to thoughts you and I just might have felt before. My Firsties go to Kinder at another campus so I really don't recognize some of the names. But when you have taught for a long time you eventually DO HAVE siblings and cousins AND see names that bring flashbacks that cause you to twitch! There are times when I try and use my phonics knowledge to decipher a name that I am anxious I will not be able to pronounce correctly. And I already feel bad for the kiddo that I am sure will have to help me numerous times say his/her name correctly.

At Meet the Teacher, I have a special system of codes I mark next to the names on my list of students that I am meeting. There have been numerous times when I have watched in fear as child has hit his mother on the head numerous times with a HUGE pointer and did not stop when he was told to....or when a child seems so active that I am ready to tell the mom that I am happy to drive her to the doctor to see if the child might need a prescription for some calming "vitamins". And those 2 times were like the children had been invaded by the Body Snatchers because the kiddos that showed up on the first day of school were sweet, obedient, calm, and respectful.

There have been countless times when I have sadly been judgmental and let a bad attitude get in the way of seeing a child the way that God does...and the way He sees me. What gives me the right to judge a student on what they are not when I am so thankful and blessed that God does not judge me by my short comings??!!??!!??

We are always going to have students that challenge us. There have been years when that challenge has left me in tears, frustration, and a state of feeling completely helpless. There have been times when I breathed a sigh of relief when that child was absent because the entire dynamics of my classroom changed but at the same time felt horrible for feeling that way.

Many of these challenging kiddos come with more baggage than we have even carried as an adult. For some, school is their safe haven. And whether we realize it or not, these kiddos are often VERY perceptive and can pick up the vibes we give off.

I remember the child that completely changed my whine and wine. He was retained and put back in my class for his second year. I vented to a friend that I was very upset he was in my room again. I was going into my 4th year of teaching and was able to attend a Ruby Payne workshop that fall. It changed my teaching and my heart forever. God knew I needed that workshop so He could show HIS love through me to some of the people who needed it the most. She said something that I also learned again when I read about Conscious Discipline. Are you ready for this???



And this is another wonderful reminder...


The student I mentioned above completely lost it on the last day of school of his second year in my room. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me he was going to miss being around someone who loved him as much as I did. He gave me many, many, MANY opportunities for me to practice patience yet he still knew I loved him. At the time I saw his name on my list for the second time, I did not want him in my class but I am blessed that God gave him to me again.

I am not perfect and still feel frustrated and helpless when I don't know how to help a child that is crying out for love. I then have to remember God put each child in my room for a reason...to love that child with all of my heart and help that child be successful in every way possible. And in the end, it is often me that has learned a valuable lesson from God.

I pray that as we start a new school year that we remember this:

Thank you for stopping by for this week's Heart Start!


From My Heart to Yours,

1 heart notes:

Sarah said...

Heather, I am so glad you are posting again. I love reading your posts and being reminded why I am a teacher! I also love all your teaching ideas! Have a great day!

Sarah