Monday, November 28, 2011

One Day....what we REALLY are teaching

I LOVE Conscious Discipline (and P-L-E-A-S-E go read those posts if you haven't already!) but Our Family Circle Time has been short and hurried lately because and I am soooooo, soooooo, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO stressed because I have not been getting in everything "they" say I am supposed to during a day. Hmmmmmm, HELLO- I am NOT a magician....READ MY LIPS....It is NOT possible!!!!! So, today we were busy bees but I took the time to celebrate all of the kind and helpful behaviors that my kiddos are always doing and I noticed how much they are doing this without me even having to say anything. I have been so caught up in trying to meet benchmarks and get them "where they need to be" that I took for granted the values and characteristics I would want someone to say about me and I want my kiddos to learn as well.

One of Our School Family jobs is the "Kindness Recorder". This person gets to add kind flowers to our flower pot. When they notice someone doing a kind act they go to that person and say "I am going to add you a kind flower for __________________" and the person answers them "Thank you for noticing that." We have around 12 flowers and when the flower pot is full the Kindness Recorder empties it and we start over. We had to empty the pot 5 times today. And I heard the sweetest things such as:
*I am going to add you a kind flower for remembering to use your heart words.
*I am going to add you a kind flower for rolling Natalie a paper towel.
*I am going to add you a kind flower for sharing your crayon with Joshua.
*I am going to add you a kind flower for remembering to say I am sorry.

I realized that the curriculum is important and they need to know how to read and do math but the smartest child is not really going to be successful if they are mean, greedy, hurtful, and rude. We have the chance to teach our kiddos so much everyday by how we react to them and the example we set. I had to remember this poem I wrote because we are so much more than a teacher who just teaches them knowledge and facts....we must truly touch their hearts first.

I hope this poem inspires you too! I would love a heart note if this touches your heart as much as it still touches mine. =)

18 heart notes:

Katy said...

This post literally brought tears to my eyes. Today was a rough first day back - we learned of a new initiate that we have to squeeze in our day. I too find myself thinking, what I am teaching these children? Yes, they'll be able to read and do math, but will they be able to do a puzzle or show compassion to a friend? It's sad to say, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one that feels this way. Maybe if we all banded together and revolted.... They are only 5 one time. They will never have the opportunity to sing songs and paint a picture again in school. We are doing our children a huge disservice. Thank you for your post - I need to get back to the heart of teaching - the children.

Kindergarten Katy

Tamara L. Chilver said...

This is beautiful Heather. Thank you for reminding teachers what is REALLY most important- our children's hearts.

Barbara said...

I love the ONE DAY, but I love your post even more!!! The Kindness Flower is an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. idea - do NOT let benchmarks get in the way of that beautiful bouquet!!! Thanks for sharing.


Freckleteacher said...

Beautifully said Heather and the ladies who have commented before me. It is very easy to get caught-up in teaching the curriculum and to forget that we are teaching our precious children. Of course, we are pushed by our Districts, states and sometimes parents to do this. We are not raising a robot who spits out the correct answer, we are inspiring a child to develop and grow into a healthy, loving human being! Thanks for this lovely poem (I had tears as well)and a reminder to me that I need to share my heart as much as my knowledge.

Jennifer said...

I LOVE days like that! I'm not familiar with conscious discipline but I'm about to read your posts about it!

(We had a lovely day like your today too. Everyone helped each other, everyone one nice, everyone pitched in to clean up the room without me asking....aaaaaah!)

Rowdy in First Grade

Carol said...

Heather, Your poem really touched me. All week my first grade colleagues and I have been SOOO overwhelmed by all of mandates, deadlines, formal observations at THIS time of year. Your poem made me reflect on how important the human side of our job is to these young people. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of the kindness flower pot!!!! I am going to "borrow" that from you if you don't mind.

Patty Strong said...

What a beautiful poem Heather. I'm going to display it in my classroom :)

btw, I now have a follower button :)

give me an apple

Unknown said...

You have some great things here. I was encouraged with what I read. I'm a teacher assistant and some of these ideas will work well with the students I help and even on my bus. Thank you!

Jen said...

This is just from a parent here, but keep up loving those kids! As a parent I could care less about the benchmarks and cramming core down...the kids need teachers who are present and not being forced to teach to a test just so the kids can pass. Ugh, I'm sorry our education system has come down to this. The parent's need to be aware to opt out of testing, that is a way to get this ridiculousness taken out of the school system so teachers like you can get on with teaching our kids and helping them grow up to be wise, caring and aware people.

Thank you!

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Unknown said...

I retired in June and I am still thinking about my former students and finding school ideas. Your poem is lovely and very sentimental for me. At the end of the year I do the book Only One You with the students coloring a fish and writing in the speech bubble what they can do to make the world a better place. I then print one cute bordered paper the poem Only You by Dan Coopersmith. I will miss teaching kindergarten and seeing them grow. Remember to also take time away from all the extra hours you put into your job for your own kids as they will grow up faster than you think and be on their own. Good times to all teachers for the new school year. Patti Harvey in Jacksonville, Florida.