Saturday, October 13, 2012

Do You Have a Hoover?

I get a new one every year.

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 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,

52 heart notes:

Alison Hislop said...

Oh! I love how you call them a hoover! Thanks for your antidotes - I love the way you write!

Teaching Maths with Meaning

Mrs. Anderson said...

What an AWESOME post today! You always inspire me to be a better teacher. Thank you!
Connie Anderson:)

Learning with Mrs. Parker said...

You are an inspiration. Thank you for this post. It came at a time when I needed this advice.

Lisa R. said...

Thank you for this post! I have a few hoovers this year & it has been a challenge. I appreciate the reminder of the necessity of patience! :)
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Unknown said...

You are such an inspiration! Your post made me laugh AND cry. THANK YOU!!

Stacey White

Jill said...

Beautiful post, it reminded me about one of my hoovers from last year and how much I loved him.


Kelly said...

Beautifully written & so true! Thanks for the reminder of patience :) Isn't if funny that the "Hoovers" (great name, by the way) are always the ones we remember? I think it's because they need the MOST love and we often get the GREATEST reward from them. Thanks again for sharing!

First Grade Fairytales

Unknown said...

Thanks for the inspiration, Heather. I do have a "Hoover" this year. Actually, I had the same "Hoover" last year and he got retained. It was my choice to have him again. My Kindergarten team thought I was crazy, but I knew it was in the best interest of my "Hoover." My "Hoover" is still quite a "Hoover" but I have learned to have much more patience with him this year and am trying different techniques with him and it seems to be better. Your right! Every child deserves a chance.

Thanks for putting your heart into teaching! It's teachers like you that will ALWAYS make a difference.

Have a blessed Sunday!


Mrs. McHaffie said...

You are just simply amazing. Thank you for the reminder and words of encouragement in dealing with those little "Hoovers" {LOVE that name!}.

Patience is something I strive for on a daily basis!

Beg, Borrow, Steal

Jessica Lawler said...

This is a FABULOUS post! I was nodding my head through each paragraph. I am going to pass this a long to a dear teacher friend of mine who has what feels like a whole class full of "hoovers!" I know your words will be an encouragement to her :)

Thanks for sharing!


Susan said...

Oh, did I ever need to read this. It was perfect timing for me.
Thank you!

Mrs. Turk said...

God Bless You, Heather. I love reading your thoughtful and genuine posts. When God came to the making of teachers, you truly showcase how a teacher was designed to be made by the Lord.

Unknown said...

What a great point you made Heather - I would NEVER get angry with a child who was struggling to learn and meet my academic expectations, yet the little ones who don't meet behavior expectations are usually a different story. We're so quick to blame them. Thank you for making me realize this!! It will surely help me through those frustrating times!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post Heather. It is obvious you speak from your heart. I chose to keep a Hoover from last year too. He's still sucking the energy out of me, but some others in our grade group don't have the patience he needs. I'll carry your words with me to class tomorrow. Thanks again for the reminder to think before speaking and to consider the unknowns these kids face at home.

Unknown said...

First time commenter here, but I wanted to let you know this is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. THANK YOU!

Natalies Nook said...

Heather, this was a beautiful post! I got very emotional when I read it. You have a beautiful way of writing and I could relate to so many things you said. Thank you for inspiring me to be a more "careful " teacher.
Natalies Nook

Kristin said...

Oh, those Hoovers!!!!! They are my downfall on most days! I pray about my Hoovers every day, but mostly I pray that God gives me the wisdom to handle all Hoovers as Jesus would.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for following me!! I linked you in a post today so hopefully that will send some people your way!! :)

Tales of Teaching in Heels

Unknown said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful post! <3
Thank you for the reminder!

JKorth said...

Such a beautiful post and seems to be at the perfect time, I needed some inspiration! Thank you :)

Miss Foote said...

Such a touching post. My former "Hoovers" have left the most lasting prints on my heart.

Chickadee Jubilee

Lauren said...

What a wonderful post, something I so need to hear (as soon as I was reading I had a couple of "hoovers" jump in my own mind!). Just what I needed to face the week ahead.

I did many studies with Ruby Payne in college, which has been a huge help in my current placement!

Live Learn Teach for Life said...

WOW! That's all I can say! You are super inspiring and a wonderful writer!! You have a truly amazing gift!

In addition, you've been BOO'd! Head on over to my blog to check it out and participate in the linky party!!


Unknown said...


Head on over to my Blog to check out how to participate!! :)


Unknown said...

Heather, I love this post. You took the words right out of my mouth! I can still remember adults who hurt my feelings when I was little, and what sticks with me is the sense of surprise that some one you trust would say something just as mean as another kid (even though I'm sure they didn't mean it that way). I think about that a lot as a teacher, and I'm sure there are times when my patience has worn thin and I have been guilty of that, and I just hate it! Thank you for reminding us important it is to always respond to our students from a place of love and nuturing!

Thanks for stopping by my blog too! I'm your newest follower!

Another Day in the Silver Mines

Meghan said...

This is a great message! I love your Heart of Patience poem. I printed it out when you have posted it before. I look at it when I'm having a tiring day, and it helps refocus me. Thanks!

Donna said...

Thank you for following my blog because it led me to YOURS! :) I feel encouraged and reminded why I teach after reading some of your posts. Keep up the good-doing!

Young Daze in 5th Grade

grella monsters said...

I was looking over my "blogs I follow" and I realized I haven't checked your out in a while. What an inspiring post! Thank you!
I am having some fun at Grella Monsters so I decided to "boo" you! Hop over to my blog to find out more!
Grella Monsters

Nicki said...

Wow..our grad school presentations tonight were on poverty! I saw Ruby Payne speak and it was wonderful..and I've had plenty of hoovers...whew

I've also boo'd you. Stop by my blog to see the rules!

Unknown said...

Hi Heather!

I just posted about your amazing blog for the "You've been Boo'd" linky party hosted by the 2nd Grade Pad! Your blog is always such an encouragement and I really appreciate you! As a special treat to celebrate you and your blog, I'd love to offer you a free item of your choosing from my store: Foxwell Forest TPT Store

Just comment back and let me know!
Thanks again for sharing your heart with us!
First Grade in Foxwell Forest

Unknown said...

You pour out your heart, thanks for such a welcome to new bloggers like myself! I BOO-ed you, cause you are an inspiration to others!
Amy Howbert

Little Miss Organized

Sara {Miss V's Busy Bees} said...

Heather, you are such an inspiration. Because of that, I have chosen to BOO you. Head on over to my blog & check out my post from today to see what you do if you want to participate :)

Miss V's Busy Bees

Little Miss Primary said...

Heather, I LOVE this. Thank you for loving your kids well and allowing God to lead you in the classroom! I am so excited to learn from you!

Little Miss Primary

Juf said...

I had a major Hoover last year, and I hung your heart of patience poem up in my classroom to help keep me on track!

Unknown said...

Wonderful, Amazing message. It's so hard sometimes to have the patience, and understanding that you need to have working with little ones. Especially when you are a first year teacher, like myself, just trying to do the best job you can do.. but it's always eye opening, when you really try to understand where they are coming from, and help them overcome obstacles.. and then they are the ones who come back to you years later and thank you for changing their lives... It definitely takes patience and love.

Melissa Termine said...

Thank you for sharing such hearfelt words. 'Hoovers' is a term that I will use (I used my specail child(ren) before. They certainly pull those heart strings and make you wish you could 'fix' their broken souls. Your poem will go in my plan book and on my wall to remind me of my importance in their lives when I'm fustrated!

Teacher Mom of 3 said...

Beautiful post!

You have been Boo-ed! Stop by my blog to join the linky fun! Lauren Teacher Mom of 3

Unknown said...

Tears! Beautiful and well said. I wish we could post this all over school! You never know what a child might be faceing once he/she leaves the safety and love of your classroom.

Nancy VandenBerge said...

Heather, You amaze me with your insights and convictions. Teaching is an unbelievably hard profession, but if you don't think of it as a job, you will reach farther than you ever dreamed. That's what I think when I read your beautiful posts. You are more than a teacher. Thank you for being an inspiration to me! Love you! Nancy

Jennifer of The Extra Energetic Educator said...

AMAZING post! I do know some Hoovers! This post did make me think that I do have to look beyond their actions and dig a little deeper into why they are acting out. I also need to look more at myself and what I am doing/saying. Thanks for your inspirational words! I'm definitely sharing this post!

Jean Robinson said...

Every time I come to your blog I find something that I feel was written just for me. Thanks for the great post and the inspiration.
Diving Into 2nd Grade

Jeannine said...

So inspiring! I just love your blog! I'm having a giveaway at my new blog Heather! Stop by when you have a chance!

Creative Lesson Cafe

Kindergarten Stars said...

Thank you so much for your inspiring posts!! This was much needed and I have shared it (along with some of your other posts) with my Kindergarten team... Your timing is perfect!
Michelle :)
Kindergarten Stars

Bex said...

Wow ! I think this post is fabulous ! Your thoughts made me really reflect and I plan to go into work with a fresh outlook!

Jill Cruz said...

I read this and had tears in my eyes...we are kindred spirits. I pray each day that I will have patience. Your humility and beautiful truth makes me proud to be a teacher and proud to be your blogger friend.

Your heart is genuine and I know that all of the little Firsties in your life are blessed to be in your room. May God bless you with patience tomorrow and through the week!

cindi said...

This is the most REAL teacher blog I have EVER read. Wow! I am simply awestruck at how you are able to express in words what so many of us have felt and continue to feel each day. I always try to be the one that can "cure" the behavioral issues, when really I just need to show love. ANd I do, but patience IS a virtue. Being a Godly woman is not always easy, but it isn't supposed to be. Thanks heather, it was wonderfully written.

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