Last week I caught myself thinking I wish they would just do what I asked them to do. I started my countdown from five and already started constructing my epic guilt trip. (insert your most epic guilt trip here) I looked straight ahead towards the awful hairy brown wall in my spilt classroom and saw our cause and effect poster: I hate school. I keep that poster up for a reason. Last year I heard the phrase “I hate school” over 50 times a day, every single day. That’s not an exaggeration either.
These were 9 year olds. This year, we are down to about once a week. The epic guilt trip that I had just crafted all of a sudden became the biggest waste of 3 seconds. There I sat with 5 kids talking over me, disregarding our classroom expectations, and distracting the learning of others. I felt like Robert Frost trying to figure out which road to travel. Everyday, I stop myself in those aggravating moments to ask myself: which road do you want to take today? I’m thankful I have tiny humans who point me in the right direction.
I’m thankful for the kids who refuse to do what I say because they challenge me to think outside the box. They hold me accountable for all students learning. They help me strengthen my resilience, my patience, and my compassion. They push me to understand the why the behavior is happening and not what the behavior looks like. They strengthen my minute to minute decision making skills. They strengthen my flexibility, my time management, and lesson presentation. They make me a better person. They help me grow into a better teacher for all students. They force me to ask them about their culture, their beliefs, and what they value. They help me speak my truth in situations that I feel uncomfortable in. They fill my days with reality t.v moments and lifetime movie scripts. They inspire me to see the light in all the dark moments. They force me to see them and not just their behavior. I am thankful for the kids who refuse to do what I say because they force me to be stronger, to think faster, to plan smarter, and teach funner than I did the day before.
When i’m doing my job to the standard that I hold myself to, my students do without me even asking. My goal isn’t for them to do what I say, but to see the importance in what we do so that I don’t even need to ask. Slowly by slower and day by day, we are getting there.
Perspective is everything. Perspective shapes you, your actions, and your students success. I am thankful for the kids who refuse to do what I say because it has given me endurance, resilience, and perspective. Every day I chose to embody the perspective, or the road, less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.