"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato
As I was leaving work today, I found that I was kind of grumpy. Yes, it had been kind of a long day. A LOUD day. I teach third grade, and some days the noise level is jut a little much. A day of repeating myself, again, again. A day where I felt I must have been speaking a language other than English because I got either no response or actions that showed the opposite of what I was asking... Well, yes, these days, in what I do are inevitable, and really not that bad. Usually fatigue is the result.
In the midst of my grumpiness however, I remembered something. As a teacher you are taught to try to remember what misbehavior almost always means in a child; and that is that a child acts out or misbehaves because they are missing some sort of fundamental emotional need. I know this, and believe it, but its not always easy to remember it or be sensitive to it when some children push you, day after day.
So I remembered this, and remembered and example that so truly proves this idea that happened just last week. I have a student who seems to always be misbehaving. As soon as my back is turned, this person is bothering other people or doing something they are not supposed to do. This person seems to never finish their work on time, or even complete it period. When this person does something they are not supposed to they lie about it... Lets just say my patience level with this individual is thin. Last week, however, this person finished work in a speedy and through manner. I was very proud of this person and made a point of telling them I was. This person proudly showed the work to a parent who immediately began criticizing the work and pointing out errors. My heart sank. It became all to clear to me that no matter what this kid does, he gets criticized. So why not act in a negative manner at school? Its all the same anyway. This kid acts out because he never gets positive feedback. Talk about feeling guilty. On the other hand, I know that this kind of behavior cannot be ignored or tolerated.
This was a sort of wake up call for me, in the sense that it challenged me once again to not forget the bigger picture. There is always so much more going on in some one's life, whether it be a child or adult. It challenged me to be a better teacher, a better person. I always try to be sensitive to others, but I can always do better. I need to do better. Take the time to ask a friend how they are, how they really are. To be supportive always of my husband and his endeavors instead of worrying about how it affects me.
I want more than anything to stay positive. Positive and peaceful. Its not that I have been unhappy, by any means. Often I find though, that its easier to complain or be disgruntled. Instead I want to chose the path of positivity. Taking the extra time and effort to be there for others in a real way, and also to keep my own life in perspective. I hope to emulate positivity. Who knows, it just might catch on.