I’m not sure if it’s the stress or anxiety or overwhelm of these incredibly slow days at work (which can sometimes leak into other areas of life), but sometimes it seems like it is never enough. No matter how many hours spent prepping – does it matter? Was it worth it? Am I truly an effective teacher? I’ve been thinking about how often we quickly criticize ourselves over insignificant situations. Even just mumbles whispered under our breath.
When I was in college, I applied to work at an elementary school as part of a program working with targeted, low-performing students via pull-out small groups. As you can imagine, I was also used in other areas of need on campus, like lunch duty or manning the receptionist desk.
A particularly adorable second grader, who everyone on campus was familiar with, would often roam the hallways, snatch admin walkie-talkies, or meander in and out of other classrooms.
On one of the days I was manning the front desk, we all suddenly heard T on the walkie-talkie ask the head custodian, “… what’s your location? Ma’am, what’s your location?” While I thought it was hysterical, a frantic search began; soon, T was waiting to meet with the principal on a bench near me.
I was working on the computer and hastily exclaimed, “Oh, dang it! I’m so dumb!” T stood up from the bench, walked over to me, looked me straight in the eyes with the most serious expression, and said, “Princess, you is NOT dumb. Maybe you do dumb things, but Princess, you. is. not. dumb.”
Left speechless (and wanting to laugh), T dragged himself back to his spot on the bench looking more wise and more stoic than most.
As you carry on this week and catch yourself spewing negativity toward yourself in a careless moment, think of T. Maybe you do dumb or stupid things, but you are not dumb or stupid. Little ears are listening.
What’s something funny and/or shocking a student has said to you?!