Tuesday, September 17, 2013

a confession and a revelation.

Confession: I had a ROUGH first month of school. The kids were out of control for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I won't go into the details of the kids and what their exact problems are, but that first month was AWFUL. I blogged about it, complained to husband/mom/coworkers about it, prayed about it, cried about it, and moped about it. It was bad. I confess that two weeks ago, I was contemplating leaving this profession forever. No joke. I thought to myself, "What else could I possibly do with this degree?" I could never justify leaving a class of children during the school year, so I knew something had to be done. I spent hours researching a new teaching method to try out with these kids. I adjusted my attitude. I continued to pray and ask for wisdom, patience, and guidance to give my kids the best I can give every day.

Revelation: Kids are mold-able. They are not static beings. It doesn't matter what background they come from...what issues they may have...what baggage they carry with them. If you want something from a child, you can get it. You might have to work a little harder (and Lord knows, I've worked my butt off the last two weeks,) but it can be done.

This is my card chart from yesterday. Green is what everyone starts out on every day. If they make bad choices, I flip them to yellow, then blue, then orange, and finally red which results in a trip to the office. (And yes, I've had quite a few in the office so far.) However, if they make exceptionally good choices, they can go UP to purple knight status, which is the best you can get. So yesterday I did not flip ANY cards for poor behavior all day. Quite the contrary...almost have of my kids moved UP to purple! It was a fantastic day, everyone was so proud of themselves and each other.

Two weeks ago I would have never thought this was possible. I thought these kids were doomed to be naughty forever. I questioned (many times) why I work with this population of kids. Why I continue to choose to teach this demographic that I sometimes admit I might not be cut out for. And just like that, I am reminded. Look what I was able to do in two weeks! (And for the record, there was only one child with a card flip today...another fantastic day.) I set expectations and I demanded that those expectations be met. Most of these kids completely run their household. They've had no concept of structure for 5 years of their lives. A lot of them don't have trustworthy adults that they respect enough at home to listen to...so why would they automatically respect me? You have to work for it...and I did. And I still am.

Difficult Behaviors:  Sometimes it's actually about communication.  This is eye-opening!

At this point in my life, I'm meant to be exactly where I am. I'm learning WAY more than they are, and I'm a better teacher for it. Am I meant to be with this demographic forever? Probably not...and trust me when I say I don't WANT to be. But for right now I'm happy to say that I'm content again, and completely at peace with my job.

Thanks kids, for teaching me such a valuable lesson.
You are not condemned to certain expectations and standards because of your life situation.
And thanks for finally getting it together...my blood pressure has finally lowered back to normal :)

xoxo, wife.

1 comment:

  1. Such a touching blog. You are truly remarkable.
    I love you so very much.