Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Reminder

There are days when the chips are stacked against us and our patience is paper thin.  The morning begins with an alarm that we snooze until the last possible second. Breakfast is ruined because there is no milk or no cream for the coffee.  The pants I was going to wear did not get put in the dryer or ironed and when I got into my car, it was on empty and it was raining.  When I arrive at school the copy machine is on the fritz, I forgot to do the flipchart I needed, and there's a parent who needs a conference ASAP.

As the day progresses, the little patience I have is gone. The child who hasn't done their homework for the last 50 days still doesn't have it.  A nasty note in the folder from a parent. One student just won't stop talking. An unannounced observation that does not go well. The small crack that was there earlier has now grown into a huge crevasse that can't be repaired today.

I notice I'm short with my students, with other teachers, and hard on myself because I know better.  All I want to do is curl up under a toasty blanket and go back to bed.

It's days like these where I need to keep reminding myself that every child in my class is someone else's baby.  A child that could have been waited on for eternity, one that was prayed for, one that was almost lost, one that deserves so much more than what I have given.

I try every day to keep this in mind, but there are days where I slip.  I try every day to remember, if I was this child's mother, would I be okay with the words that came out the teacher's mouth, the questions about why homework wasn't completed, about the consequence I just administered, etc.  

I don't have children of my own, but I've had about 25 each year that I have considered my own.  The days where I genuinely put myself in the shoes of the parent are amazing.  The days where I don't, aren't.  

I may appear "soft" to some other teachers, not as firm, more lenient. But, I'm okay with that, because at the end of the day, I get hugs from 4th and 5th graders and sweet notes that pull me out of the depths on bad days.  I know that these were my kids, I'd want the best for them and a teacher who whispers before yelling, hugs before punishing, and loves before leaving for the day.

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