My 6- year- old son, Christopher, was just bouncing around the house one day. This particular day was rough, and I was emotionally, mentally and spiritually drained. To make matters worse, Christopher had a marker in his room and it bled through his bed sheets. Frustrated and at my wit’s end, I looked at him and said, “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE A MESS!” He looked at me with an equal level of frustration and said, “I’M 6, HOW CAN I NOT MAKE A MESS!” That response stopped me in my tracks. I remembered not too long before that day working on a project at my office and getting hot glue all over a table. So, I took a deep breath, picked Christopher up, and he cried in my arms. Now, I am a sucker for this little boy, but I also realized at that moment that we were both just drained.
Recently, I’ve been following the hashtag, #Iwishmyteacherknew, inspired by the Kyle Schwartz book which revealed various things students wanted their teachers to know about them. Some of the responses were cute and comical, but many were sad and revealed the struggles some of our students face. I would add the hashtag, #Iwishmyteacherwouldremember. Sometimes, you don’t have to go back too far to relate to students. Can you remember what is was like to sit for the majority of a 7.33 hour day? I remember what it was like to want acceptance from others or to forget something very important for class. I could go on and on.
It can be difficult to remember that we were them…then. For example, as a teacher I would forget how tricky it can be for students to navigate certain relationships in a classroom. When students came to me with relationship issues that I felt were trivial, I often advised them to ignore the other party. I didn’t always consider the fact that ignoring someone that you have to be around for the majority of the day is easier said than done.
What is something that you often forget…to remember about being a student? How will you intentionally shift your responses to your students?
A few questions for you to consider this week.
Have a wonderful Monday,