Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Discouragement and Hope

Wow! It has been over a year since I have written.  I could go into all the reasons why I haven't (new Common Core/reading program, difficult kids, classroom makeover-yet again, life in general) but I am sure you all know the reasons.

Before reading the rest of this post I do want to say three things:
1. I do love my job
2. My kiddos can be amazing
3. All days are not bad and I know that

I am writing after one of those incredibly long it is almost Christmas break and it is full moon and my kids have gone ape shit days.  You know the ones.  The days where no one can get along or even look at each other without trouble starting and if one more kid says my name or blurts out I may lose it.  The kind of day when you look at the kids and where they are and the possibility of where they are going and think it just keeps getting worse.  And by it, I mean society in general.  I would have never dreamed of talking to my teacher or parent the way kids at my school do.  I would have been mortified if my teachers had seen me act the way my kids can act sometimes.   It just makes me question a lot of things.  My main question tonight is how can I get through to these kids?

So instead of completely letting myself get completely hopeless I asked myself another question.  What is it that I really want for these kids (these annoying, drive me crazy but I love them terribly kids)?  Here are my answers:

1.  I want my kids to be responsible.  Yes, I do want them to be responsible for their homework and grades but I want them to be responsible for themselves.  That includes their well being, their attitudes, their reactions to life.  I want them to understand that no matter what is happening that is out of their control- they always have control of themselves.

2.  I want my kids to WANT to learn.  I will admit that I have a really curious bunch this year that is capable of asking insightful questions.  They are getting pretty good at researching as well.  My goal is for them to always keep the desire for more knowledge.  For them to never stop asking why or what if.

3.  I want my kids to love to read.  If you know me at all or have read any of my posts you may know that I am an avid reader.  Reading has been my comfort, my escape, a source of laughter and tears.  Sharing books with friends has deepened relationships, helped me communicate, and in some cases started friendships.  I want that for my kids.

4. I want them to have something to be proud of.  And no not just an XBOX One or whatever that game was that one of my kids was telling me about today.  I want them to take pride in their knowledge, their gifts, and their life.

5. I want them to be kind.  We all know kids (esp. little girls) can be hurtful and make mistakes.  They have great models for that every where they look.  But so many times I catch my kids helping each other out, saying thank you, sharing, or cheering each other on.  I want my kids first instant to be kindness.

I could go on a lot longer but I am going to stick to my top five.  Maybe this is my list for Santa or my prayer tonight.  Over Christmas break I plan on doing a lot of reelecting on my actions and words and making sure I am doing my best to be a good model for this.  I plan to read as many encouraging teacher books as I can and plan meaningful activities for my little ones.  (I also plan to sneak in some sleep and family time too).

I would love to hear your wish list for your kids, any suggestions for inspiring kids (and exhausted teachers), or any book titles I may want to check out.