Sunday, November 18, 2012

Children are not broken.

Due to my own personal struggles, years of teaching, being a mother, and simply observing I have come to understand that:


Give them healthy food, plenty of sunshine and exercise and then allow them to be all that our Creator designed them to be!  Even if that includes Autism, dyslexia, ADHD and more!  Find their talents and build from there!

Okay...soapbox over!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Childish Relationships

You could say my relationship with children is somewhat (or a lot) childish.  We laugh together because I speak freely and allow them to do so as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.  For some reason when children say, "Mrs. Traci" as if to ask a question, "I usually respond with a, "Yo!"  They still look at me funny and then laugh as if they don't expect that response from a teacher.  I've been known to tell a student that it looks like their cubby is "throwing up" because of the mess that is falling out of it.  Somehow saying it that way makes a kids smile and they jump right to taking care of it.  That's not very teachery but it seems to make children respond without feeling judged or ignorant.  Of course when a child falls out of their chair or shows some other form of clumsiness I should ignore it, right?  Nope, not in my class!  Something like that generally turns into a teachable moment.  I take a sec to share what happened with the whole class and say that everyone gets their moment of clutsy fame!  It IS funny but it isn't you we are laughing at!  We are laughing because we all know how it feels to fall in front of other people.  You might as well enjoy the spotlight and move on.

On a daily or minute by minute basis I can turn into a new character.  Some days I'm from England, other days from France, and sometimes from Mexico.  My accent changes and so does my personality.  The kids never know who they are getting next but they like it.  There are days when I'm flat out in a bad mood.  It might be sickness, fatigue or just a mood.  In this case I usually start the day by asking them if they have ever been in the same mood that I am in.  All of them always say they have.  I will tell them that I'm not in a funny mood today and to also please forgive me if I am a bit cranky.  Now they all feel free to share how they re feeling with me.

If you've ever been a teacher then you know about the inevitable "fart" that sneaks out leaving a student mortified.  If you have figured me out then you know that I can't ignore it!.  I usually just say, "We have a gas leak!  If anyone needs to go to the restroom by all means do so!"  No one even flinches anymore when we hear the echo of flatulence!

My days are full of laughter, frustration, hugs, smiles, and learning.  It's just not in the normal way of running a classroom.  Yes, there is a lot of learning but sharing knowledge is secondary to building up a child and filling them with confidence, trust, friendships and joy.  Sometimes the teacher has to become childish herself to allow it all to grow.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Passionate about children...YES!

Every day I walk into my classroom with a lesson plan and a prayer.  Guess which of the two I hold in higher regard.  If you said the prayer you would be right.  I truly believe that when you have a love for something it's a God given love.  So for me to be passionate about the children that must mean that God is, too.  My lesson plan is important as it guides me in the knowledge sharing aspect of the day but the prayer, well that's where the power is.  We all remember being in school and having that dreaded subject or two or three.  We also had a subject that we liked and many times that subject lead us to our future careers.  Okay, so some people hated every subject so much that the career they have now has absolutely nothing to do with any school subject.  I can relate!  But what if one teacher saw in you something special, a gift, a love, a talent and actually directed you towards that?  Mine was art.  I loved art, all kinds of art.  I was good at it, too.  The elementary art teachers saw that in me and took a particular interest in me.  I felt confident in that one subject and looked forward to it every week.  Life often takes us down undesirable roads and I lost the connection with my art and new teachers in new schools never picked up on that gift.  Like me, every child is designed with a particular gift, talent, passion or whatever you choose to call it. I'm glad God didn't make us all to be the same, how boring!  My school has taken the "out of the box" approach to education and they allow me to be more of the teacher I'm called to be.  I couldn't be a teacher if it were any other way.

I go to school for the children.  My purpose is to allow them to learn how they learn, free to be who they are, and to express themselves as they need.  I believe with the many special needs in my little class there is enough genius to change the world.  As the name of my blog suggests, I believe my students are smarter than the teacher, they just need someone older and (a little) wiser to guide them and encourage them.  Otherwise I'm learning from them a majority of the time.

Passionate about teaching...NO!

How can I be a teacher and not be passionate about teaching?  Don't stop reading here and decide you do NOT want your child in my classroom!  Give me a few minutes here.  I'm not passionate about pouring knowledge into any student.  I'm not passionate about seeing high scores on end of grades tests or all A's on report cards.  I'm not passionate about cutsy room decor or the coolest organizing system.  I'm not at all interested in winning teacher of the year.  I've tried to be that but I'm just not.  So why do I teach?  What's the point when we all know that teachers are not in it for the money or the fame?