I know many of my teacher friends are going back to school and many more will be going back soon.
I saw a meme last week that said, ” Students who are loved at home come to school to learn. And Students who aren’t come to school to be LOVED.
I thought about several children I taught over the years.
One was a boy and one, a girl ( a story I’ll shared later when I have the words).
The little boy struggled at school and didn’t like to do his work.
He didn’t seem interested.
My assistant and I worked with him every day.
I would like to say that we were very patient with him but I don’t truly remember; I certainly hope so.
It takes a lot of patience to work with children who don’t seem interested in learning.
Some children love the extra attention of sitting with the teacher and they show it.
They want to please. You bond with them easily.
Others act like the don’t like school and act as if they don’t like you.
They are hard to figure out and hard to bond with.
Some challenge you every day, if not every minute of every day, seeking attention.
Some are rebellious and want their own way (Can’t we all be a little like that?)
It’s very frustrating for you, as a teacher, for them, their parents, the principals that end up seeing them for discipline referrals.
On the last day of the school year everyone was talking about their plans for the summer and how much fun they would have.
This little boy looked very unhappy.
I asked him, “Aren’t you happy that school about getting out of school?”
I was thought that school was a place he didn’t want to be.
He said, “I like school. “
I was shocked ! I’m sure I had a puzzled look on my face.
I’d never seen any indication of that.
I had probably labeled him as a “child who didn’t like school,” a “slow learner.”
We do that sometimes, not always consciously, but sometimes, it is a conscious thing. We try to figure children (and adults) out. We may put labels on them, sometimes incorrectly.
I learned a lesson that day. I learned that kids can mask their feelings, adults too. I believe it’s an instinctual thing, a method of survival at times.
It occurred to me later, after the kids had gone home, that the assistant teacher and I were probably nicer to him than his mom.
I can understand why because we had several meetings that year… I’ll admit I was scared of her ! After one particular meeting with her, I talked to him and pleaded with him to “be good,” follow the rules and do his best. I did not want to tell her about any problems he was having in class when she asked.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him and what he went through at home that summer.
Most of us have no clue…
When I watched “I Can Only Imagine” last year I cried through most of the movie, thinking about those children who are treated so harshly at home and do not know what it feels like to be loved.
Teachers, you may be the only person in that child’s life this year who ever shows them.