First of all, why can’t we just watch Rita Pierson for every professional development session?
Okay, well we did this year, and that’s a far cry from ‘Remember the Titans’ montages from years past. But that’s the past. And while I am clearly a language and history scholar in my own right, I know the power of a fresh start.
We are definitely getting a fresh start this year: new administration, new leadership, and about fifty percent new staff, each with their own background, experience, and yes, anxiety. And each of us also packs some baggage that may have been better off discarded. We’ve outgrown it. I still see and hear some mocking of children, some negativity, and I am fighting it like a cold. I am immunizing myself and my teaching spirit against it. Whomever mocks children and their parents must have his or her own sense of humor, however much I don’t understand it.
We all come to judgment one way or another. Some folks might think I’m emotional: code for “uncontrolled” or “hysterical.” But I am going to reframe this: our school is tough, and it takes an emotional toll. I will ask that folks do not judge me in June: there is some decompression time that must happen in order to stay mentally and physically healthy. There is not a switch I can turn off and on and be completely on solid footing. And I worry that some colleagues don’t recognize that in themselves, and are still mourning, hurt, or angry, and then hold fast to negativity.
I saw this clip today of this little girl in ballet class, and I just love it — please remember she is us, she is our student, she is our child–we are all trying our best:
And I also learned how to handle the momma bears better, being one myself:
And I learned that some colleagues sound like the first role play, and sometimes I have, too. But mostly, feel strong because I have always tried to be patient and consistent, and this is a strong reminder:
Whenever someone asked me to give advice to new teachers I always tell them the same thing: this child is someone’s baby. No matter what, they are in the world and ready to receive the best of what we have to offer.
Have a great September…