Monday, March 17, 2014

The Custodian Made Them Walk: School as a Community!

The other day I was on my way to pick up my students from Special. Our custodian, older gentleman, was speaking to two kindergartners.

He stated firmly, "Ok, now walk down the hall."

The two kindergartners looked at him, looked at me, and began walking.

He turned to me, shaking his head, and said, "They were running down the hallway!"

I said, "Good for you. They could have hurt themselves."

Another adult might  have watched those kids run, and thought, "They're not my kids."

Too often, our school is just that, a school. A place where everyone has a position, and they don't budge from it.

The custodians clean, administrators lead, lunch staff serves lunch, teachers teach etc...

But it shouldn't be that way, we should all be involved in the well-being of our students. Not just the ones in our classroom, but the students in our school.

I speak to every student I see in the hallway, even if they don't answer. Sometimes, I get a big, cheery, hello. Other times the eyes are averted, or downcast, and a squeak of a hello comes out. And then there are the times, I get no answer, but I still speak, because I consider all of the kids in the building my own.

One of my colleagues "mentors" a student in a lower grade, trying to get him to be successful. Not because she was asked, but because she saw his struggles and wanted to help.

One of our custodians is a coach, so he makes a habit of talking  to the kids while he's in the lunchroom waiting to clean up.

A parent, who don't even have kids in the school anymore, reads to students.

And forget about our secretary, she is everyone's mother!:)

I attended a union conference Saturday, and the president stated, "When I talk about the union, I'm not just talking about teachers. I am talking about custodians, lunch personnel, bus drivers, any, and, everyone who supports the schools."

"It takes a village..."(African proverb)

It does. And that's the way our schools should be, everyone, from the administrator to the custodian, should have a sense of  responsibility for the success and well-being of all our students.

Monday, March 3, 2014

I Wish I Could Clone You: A Teacher's Dream Child!

I have at least one every year.
That child  I wish I could clone.
The kid that is so sweet, respectful, polite, works hard, helpful, gets along with their peers, an absolute delight!

Sigh. I wish I could clone them.

But you know what? I would have a very boring classroom.

Each one of our students is an individual complete with their own idiosyncrasies. Love it or hate it, we have to accept them for who they are.

However, we do have the option of tweeking them. Not so much that they lose who they are, but enough so that they can be a positive influence in our classroom family.

There's nothing wrong with trying to make the disrespectful, respectful.
The needy, self-sufficient.
The slacker, a hard worker.

That's part of our job. We can't throw back the ones we don't want, and we definitely can't clone them. But we can work with what we're given, and hopefully, make a difference!

photo credit: Blue Skyz Media via photopin cc