Take the flowers and listen to the songs!
Oh, I have SOOOO much I want to share from the SCIRA conference but first things first and then I will get to the SCIRA conference in a couple of days.
I have recently been reminded of our POWER in the lives of children. Sometimes, our influence seems small and sometimes it is large. Let me explain why these thoughts are on the forefront of my mind... A child VERY dear to my heart has had a long term sub for quite a while this year. It has been a rocky road with the sub having a different teaching and management style than the classroom teacher. Well that's all well and fine because we know children have to learn to adapt to different circumstances and personalities. So, we make it through times like these in our lives and adapt. However, one specific incident really reminded me of the teacher's influence. So, here's the story... a class is outside on a nature walk and a child picks a few flowers to give to the teacher. The child is trying to find acceptance from this teacher through the small act of picking and giving flowers. A few moments later, the child sees the teacher throw the flowers on the ground and roll her eyes. Now, the teacher may not have been rolling her eyes about the flowers- but what do you think the child thought? The sensitive child, of course, sees this as an act of rejection. So, my thoughts are...just take the flowers, put them in your pocket, smile and say thank you. Act like they are the best flowers in the world. Oh how a small act can boost the self esteem of a child. I have also nicely turned down flowers from a child in trying to leave nature outside- but no more- from now on, I will take the flowers. A student of mine has been asking to sing for the class and we just haven't had the time. Well, today I made the time and WOW could she sing. She sang from her heart! What a moment of celebration with this child that I would have missed by not taking the time to listen. We need to take time throughout the year to enjoy our students and value them for the unique and special individuals they are, remembering at all times that we DO make a difference in all of our actions.