Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Time to Hear a Heart

I missed school today. I NEVER miss school. I think this is the 4th time in 10 years.

On Friday, a loved one lost her battle with cancer and was called home. Although it is a blessing she is no longer suffering, our hearts ache that she is no longer with us.

I have always tried to put on a brave face no matter what I am going through. I hold back tears when I often need to let them fall.

But today the flood gates opened...I think I have been crying since I woke up at 4:30 this morning.

I think we often get so busy that we stop to really listen to each other. We ask each other How are you today? as we pass by because we usually expect to hear the answer I'm fine or Good.

I feel so rushed during the day to try and get it ALL IN. We shuffle our kiddos in and out of reading groups, math groups, and intervention groups. We meet with them to do running records, assessments, and conferences.

We are quick to intervene with discipline problems without really taking the time to figure out the why behind what happened.

Our lives don't slow down when we leave school.

There are errands to run, kiddos to take from one practice to the next, dinner to prepare, homework to get done, baths, laundry, taking a few minutes to talk to that man that might still be your husband, planning and doing all of the things that you didn't get to finish at school, and maybe finding some time to sleep.

I think all of these things that keep us so busy and consumed are just background noise that often muffle the words of our hearts and the hearts of others.

I have faith in knowing that God brought every person into my life for a reason. I want to take the time to let others know that I am blessed because of that. My heart decides whether to see others as a blessing or a burden.

Am I taking the time to let the ones I love know how much I love them?

Am I taking the time to really listen to others and their hearts???

Everyone who crosses your path tomorrow will be carrying burdens. Some burdens are carried where others can see them. These are burdens we can pray for, talk about, help with, carry as our own, and just be aware of. Many burdens though are carried in the heart. Sometimes the heart has not even found the words to carry with these burdens. They are there and if we take the time to stop and listen our heart can hear.

Will you take the time tomorrow to listen to a heart???

From My Heart to Yours,

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Are You Insane???!!!????!!!??

My sweet and helpful class has been completely a little wacko this past week. I think they were still on a Valentine's sugar high from last week PLUS the change in the weather....Mother Nature in Texas has PMS and needs hormones...has sent many of them OVER THE EDGE! They are latching on and trying to drag me with them!

I am not sure about you but there have been manymany, many, MANY, MANY times when I have wanted to look at my kiddos and ask Are You Insane???!!!???!!!???

To be honest, there are a few parents and teachers I want to ask that question to also. =)

The past few days I have repeated some of the same things over and over....

You are not being kind or helpful telling her to mind her own business. (Even though I agree!)

He is RIGHT in front of you. The volume of your voice does not need to be that loud.

Walking with your eyes closed is not being safe. You are not keeping your promise to help me keep others safe.

I am not sure why you tore up the NEW eraser I gave you. Do you REALLY think I am going to let you feed that to the tadpoles??!!!???!!!??

It is hard to work on your math problem when your head and arms are inside your shirt.

Are you being a bucket filler or a bucket dipper by fussing and arguing with her/him????

I am not sure why you are licking your hands and arm????? You are not a cat....we don't bathe ourselves with our tongue.

For a couple of days I repeated myself many, many times HOPING and PRAYING it would work like it usually does. My kiddos are almost always very good about taking helpful reminders. So, I had to remind myself of my favorite quote:

It is easy to blame the kiddos and think THEY are the ones that need to make the changes first. Now, please don't get me wrong- I am all for teaching the children to take responsibility for their choices and actions. THEY do need to learn better ways to handle situations and become problem solvers. But, I am the adult and should always reflect upon myself and what I am doing FIRST.

I also need to remember one of the key points of Conscious Discipline about how I cannot change a person or his/her behavior....only my reaction and feelings toward that person. I also needed to remind myself of what I tell my kiddos: No one can make you angry without your permission. YOU are the boss of your feelings.

I think we often get in ruts and find ourselves doing the same things over and over without really questioning and reflecting upon WHY we are doing it. We then get frustrated when things don't go the way we think they should. I need to remind myself more often that I would never find myself getting angry or upset with a kiddo that was struggling with math or reading. So ,why do we find ourselves growing so impatient with our children and their behavior???

Are the words I am saying building them up or knocking them down?

When our kiddos are struggling with their behavior are we letting them know we care enough about them to let them know that what they are doing is not okay? Are we encouraging them through these tough times?

I have realized with some of my Hoovers that the most powerful thing to do is encourage them. This is where I love Our School Family job of the Cheerleader. Instead of driving myself crazy thinking of how can I get these kiddos to stop_________________________, I had to think of what I wanted them to do. 

We had a School Family Meeting about celebrating each other. I started helping the Cheerleader this week really find LOTS and LOTS of ways to celebrate others...especially friends who were having a hard time making helpful choices and started to turn their thinking around.

I think we often fall back on some "insane" thinking when we are going through tough things ourselves. Often our kiddos might be crying out for love through some of their behavior so I want to remember that...

So, even though we want to say "You are driving me crazy"...

Stop and take a deep breath and remember-

I think our kiddos do too. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Monday, February 11, 2013

More Than Ordinary

I have found myself lately feeling quite discouraged and even sad at times. This is my 13th year teaching 1st grade but I find myself constantly still making new activities and feeling behind. I get to school early and leave late and still never feel caught up....because I have entered the point where my ship is sinking!!!

Each meeting I attend seems to tell me of 1 MORE thing I need to be planning for OR I am reminded about all of the things I am "supposed" to be doing and am currently not doing very well. I know everyone higher up than me on the food chain is being told by someone else what they should be doing AND what all I should be doing but I ask myself Who IS getting it all done??!!??!!??

I hop over to visit other blogs and I end up feeling like I am not doing a good job....y'all must be Wonder Woman and I want to know your secrets. =)

I find myself stressing and worrying too much.

So, I have to stop and look at all of the ways God is blessing me.

I need to stop and try and leave this worrying and stress outside of the classroom.

The worrying and stress will not make me a better teacher. In fact, it is during those times when I tend to have less patience. I forget to be proactive instead of reactive to my kiddos and their problems and misbehavior. I also tend to rely on the things and people of this Earth for my comfort and peace...and that always seems to leave me a little discouraged.

I need to remember to put my trust in God and see each blessing He bestows upon me in my classroom.

It seems to be those hugs, smiles, and words of "I love you" that remind me of what God needs me to focus on.

Teachers have such a tough job. Unless you are in the trenches with us, no one really knows what it is like to walk into the classroom each day. It is scary that we are given such responsibility to care for and nurture 16+ kiddos each teach them reading, math, science, and social studies!!!

Think about this...

All of the planning in the world is not what makes you a good teacher. There will always be new standards and curriculum. There will always be someone telling us we need to do more. People will not listen or fully understand what you face when you walk into YOUR classroom each day. BUT, I am the only one who can be in charge of my attitude and heart.

God put YOU in YOUR classroom. Remember...

One last thought...

A teacher who teaches from the heart IS more than ordinary.

From My Heart to Yours,