All Right Everybody, Just Relax
So my last post stirred up quite a frenzy. I have a few things to say about that.
1. Anyone who REGULARLY reads my blog will know that I love my students. Even though I miss my friends from last year, I do care about my current ones and want only the best for them. I find it offensive that many anonymous people out there feel as if they can read one post and judge me – hook, line and sinker. If you don’t like what I say, please remove me from you favorites bar (because I know I’m there.)
2. I would NEVER harm a child. And, again, if you regularly read my blog, you will know that many other adults in my school almost routinely make decisions that consciously and unconsciously negatively impact students. I, and many of my Super Colleagues, are the ones who care for them, keep them safe and teach them. Many schools are VERY negative places in which children must endure whistles blown in their faces at lunchtime, the scorn of burned out teachers and the ridicule of their peers. I work hard to make school a positive experience (as much as I can within the four walls of my classroom).
3. That being said, I do NOT believe in an environment in which every child wins and no one ever has to address their shortcomings. In my classroom, we constantly celebrate our victories but we are always mindful of areas in which we can improve (both academically and personally). This ONE MOMENT IN TIME was an example of a group of people attempting to learn to work together in very close proximity on a daily basis. There have been MANY OTHER MOMENTS in this new school year where all my children have been rockstars and their rockstar-ness was acknowledged. Publicly. Including Big Boy. (Oh, and I have met with his parents, talked about this issue and talked to them that day after school. They were fine. Because it was fine.)
4. Big Boy had a fabulous day. And another one today. What I didn’t include in my post was that we debriefed one on one during a private lunch, sharing strategies that he can use to be more productive and less disruptive. We talked about his previous year in school, during which he was constantly isolated by his teacher and spent 75% of his time alone in the hallway, and how it was much nicer THIS year now that he is part of a group. A group that cares enough to help him be the best self that he can be.
5. Everyone cries sometimes. I cry. They cry. And sometimes I cry because I’ve done something to hurt others. And sometimes they cry for the same reasons. There was no name calling. No bullying. No pointing. No tattling. Just I statements. About feelings. Followed by a conversation of why we want Big Boy to be a part of our class and all the things he can add to our class. Publicly. With him listening. I didn’t post that part, because it wasn’t as interesting, not as challenging for me and THIS ISN’T A TRANSCRIPTION OF MY DAY.
6. Go away. Just go away anonymous. Let this be a space where TEACHERS can share with other TEACHERS their struggles, triumphs, angry days and funny moments. We are not perfect but we are on the front lines and are being brutalized. Stop taking yourself, and a BLOG so seriously.
In closing, this is not a hateful site, or at least it wasn’t until you came along. It is not intending to personally bash anyone. Rather through humor and good storytelling, it intends to make public some of the issues teachers face across all kinds of schools. At the end of the day, YOU are not my administrator. And before you want to be all Judgey-Judgerstein, walk a mile, sister, walk a mile in my shoes. Because they are fabulous.