What was the purpose of my human?

– Hannah Gadsby, TED Talk

This is something I think we all pondered all throughout PD today. What is the purpose of my human? What role do I serve as an educator in the classroom? What role do I serve in my students’ lives? What connections do I share with them? As we delved into Social Emotional Learning (SEL) today, we focused on ourselves and what it means to be mindful. I think as educators we are just so focused on what’s happening around us, that we forget to be aware of ourselves and how we are feeling at the moment, which ultimately affects our students and classroom environment. To be honest, self-reflection is something I need to do more of. I just wish I had more time to do it. We are always in such a rush to get things done, that we ourselves don’t take a minute to smell the flowers and blow out the candles. Thus, my goal this year will be to engage in more self-reflection as well as self-awareness. I am better able to serve my classroom and community when I take care of myself first.

sometimes,

pain can only be
understood when it’s read
in between the lines
as our minds try to comprehend
it for the hundrenth millionth time
and we are left speechless,
dumbfounded,
our hearts
rendered
indifferent

is it too much to say
I don’t care anymore

Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity… We cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access reassurance.

A.E Newton

Little People with Big Emotions

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This past few months have really made me appreciate myself as a teacher. We have our ups and downs but sometimes when bigger things come into our lives, we do not really know how to handle it right away. As an adult, I admit, I do not know how to handle some of the things that have popped into my life so what can I expect from a three, four, or five year old child? It may not seem like much to us at the time, but to a child of this age group, change does not come easy. A change in their daily routine can wreak havoc on their emotions, which they are just starting to explore. As we try to make sense of why a child is acting a certain way, that child is having a hard time comprehending their needs and wants. Why is it that they feel sad? Angry? Frustrated? No matter how chaotic the classroom is or how exhausted I am with dealing with the same thing over and over again, I take a deep breath, step back, get down to their eye level, and help them express their emotions.

Use your words. Tell me what you need. I cannot help you if I do not know why you are upset. ….Oh! You are upset because K took your toy. It is okay to get upset but we do not use our hands to hit friends. Where do we keep our hands? Yes, to ourselves. What else could we have done instead of hitting our friends? You’re right, you could have told the teacher. You could have also talked with your friend and said “No thank you. I did not like it that you took my toy”. 

It is not always easy and there are days I want to throw in the towel. But I don’t because these kids look up to my TA and I. We spend 6 hours together, five days a week. When they are upset they look to us for support, maybe not right away, but eventually. Sometimes, all they need is a hug that says everything will be okay.