it’s october. the new has worn off of school… for kids & teachers. people call this stage of disillusionment the october blues. & there have definitely been days these past few weeks where I’ve understood how that feels. in fact, the other day I was kind of a crabby teacher. kids were disrespectful & not paying attention. I was tired of their misbehavior & short tempered & things were just rough. I came home & I was reflecting on the day… on what I needed to do to make sure the next week was more positive. I thought through rewards & consequences & expectations & behavior reflection sheets & all manner of things that are good & practical & will probably improve my classroom.
as I was thinking, I realized… kids do everything big. that’s one reason they’re so often in trouble. they can’t just raise their hands… they wave them until they almost fall out of the chair. they can’t just be mildly disappointed… they’re utterly despondent. there’s not a lot of middle ground. they’re ecstatic or they’re furious. they are open & transparent & really, really loud. they love you or they can’t stand you. & my kids love me deeply. they show me they love me by hugging me with sticky syrup-y breakfast hands, by giving me a treasured rhinestone gumball machine ring or a pecan they found, by sharing their fruit snacks. & they tell me that they love me… they tell me with loud voices on the playground & whispers in the hallway (where they’re really not supposed to be talking but do you have any idea how hard it is to shush a kid who’s proclaiming their undying affection for you?).
children are also incredibly forgiving, always ready to start things over new. I am firm with my kids. when they can’t behave I correct them, I change their seats, I give recess detentions. but the other day, the same little boy who has a recess dention with me almost daily came up to me to tell me, “ms. broom, you’re my favorite teacher.” the kindergartener who I always have to get for talking in line greets me with a giant hug every morning. the very day after I was a crabby teacher with my 5th grade class they found out I was chaperoning their field trip & practically fainted from excitement. they keep no record of wrongs.
& so in the midst of my outlining & planning & making new rules & reflection sheets, I concluded: one of the biggest things I can to do make my classroom more positive is be a little bit more like my kids… I need to deeply love every single one of them. & I need to be just as excited to see the kid who flipped me off yesterday as I am to see the straight A student. my kids might have a lot to learn about self control. but they have a lot to teach about genuine, ready forgiveness & deep, unconditional love. here’s to hoping I learn quickly. I’m pretty sure there might be a test coming up soon.