Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ask Me

The closer we get to Spring it seems like the shorter our fuses get and the more rambunctious and misbehaving our kids become.

As a classroom teacher I loved having "those kids".  The ones that the teacher from the year before would warn you about.  The ones who pushed every single button you have, and those you didn't even know you had.  The ones who scream, who curse, who run, who say they hate you.  Those are "my kids".  Those are the ones I'm drawn to.

As teachers, we all have some of "those kids" in our class every year.  What I've learned though is that often we can let our own emotions over take us and the way we interact with students.

Time and time again, I've watched a teacher get upset with a child over a choice the child made.  The teacher would yell, or tell them they were a liar or loser, or send them out in the hall without another thought, or make them walk laps at recess, or sit at lunch detention, or more!  But sometimes, the piece I've seen missing has been this....actually talking with the child.

We work with kids who don't know how to control their emotions.  With kids who are taught at home that you scream back at someone when you're upset with them, that you shut down when someone is yelling at you so you can "hide" from the yelling, that you use your fists instead of your words, and more.

Oh how quickly we forget that.  Yes, we teach them otherwise at school.  We teach them school expectations. But they're children.  Those lessons are never "one and done" or even "twenty and done" lessons.  They are lessons we must teach again and again.

I worked with quite a few children this week in my office.  And this week, every single child that was brought to me, I sat down with the, spoke in a calm and quiet voice, and asked them what happened. Asked them to tell me their story.

And do you know what some of them said?
- This morning my mom told me I was her stupid child.  It made me so upset that all day I've been angry at everyone and can't figure out how not to be angry.
- He said something about my dad.  My dad is in the hospital and I haven't seen him in 3 days, so when he said that, all I could see was red.
- Yes, I made a bad decisions, but when my teacher saw, she screamed at me and told me she was sick of my behavior and brought me up here. She didn't even give me a chance to tell her I was sorry and that I knew better and wasn't thinking.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Will kids frustrate us? Yes!  Will they lie, manipulate, get angry, and disappoint us? HECK YES!

So what can we do?  We only have on choice.  We have to be the adult in the situation.  We have to put our own emotions away and stop and talk to them.  Not every poor choice from a child HAS to have a consequence.  Many times you can talk to a child and see they understand their choice, and then move on with the day!

I mean, come on, look at who we have at lunch detention and walking laps at recess?  If it's the same kids, it clearly isn't working as a consequence.

Will having a conversation with a child fix the problem overnight? No. But it's our jobs as educators to grow every part of a child. And getting angry at them and sending them straight to the office before you have even had an opportunity to calmly talks to them, destroys your relationship with that child because they see you as the one who's not really in charge, the office is.

Let's take time this week to stop and talk to our students.

Week at a Glance

Monday  - Nesloney and C. Thomas Out
Inservice (info below)
Tuesday - Nesloney & C. Thomas Out
Writing Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
Staff Workout - 4pm
Wednesday - Nesloney & C. Thomas Out
Bible Study - 7am - TP Room
Thursday - Lock Down Drill
Moreland On Campus
Community Building Mtg - 3:30pm - Library
Staff Workout - 4pm
Friday - House Games (with Houston ISD visitors)


ALL Staff should report to HS at 8:00am for a district wide elementary training until 9:15am (4th Grade Writing Teachers will still report to Webb)

After the meeting you will return to campus.  IAs will meet with Aaron to discuss work for the day.

Lunch is on your own and shouldn't be more than an hour.

Kinder and 1st Grade teams will need to find a 45 minute period to meet with Melissa to go over some of our curriculum materials since we won't have a TP Meeting with you this week.

This should be a day spent organizing lessons and activities for the next few weeks leading up to Spring Break!

Nesloney and Thomas

Myself and Cewilla will be out Monday-Wednesday but will still have access to Email and Voxer if you need us.


February 23 - Ashley Dietert
February 23 - Loriann Whitman
February 25 - Lisha Crawford

The Energy Bus

During your TP Time (or other scheduled time) you will discuss the next three chapters (Chapters 10-12). Please have them read as they are short.

TP Time

This week is an ELA week for TP Time

Monday - Kinder and 1st Grade at some point
Tuesday - 2nd Grade
Wednesday - 5th Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 3rd Grade

Kids Deserve It

Here is Episode 60 with Beth Houf


Rockstar Educators

Brenda Parker - Brenda is one of our PreK Teachers.  Brenda brings such a wealth of knowledge to our campus.  Brenda is also someone who fiercely fights for what's right for our kiddos.  She is such a huge advocate and voice for our littlest students.  She loves them as her own but holds high expectations for them and wants them to be their best.  Brenda is also always willing and ready to share ideas and resources with anyone. I am thankful for teacher leaders like Brenda!

Allison Thomas - Allison is one of our 1st grade teachers. Allison loves on her kids so much.  She is patient and works really hard to connect with each of them.  What I love about Allison is that I don't ever see her give up when working with her kids.  Even though they'll push all of her buttons, she keeps trying to reach every one of them. I love that we have teachers like Allison.

Susan Ballew - Susan is our Life Skills 1 teacher.  I'm not sure I've ever heard Susan raise her voice.  She works so hard to keep calm and love on her students no matter what choices they've made.  She will also advocate for changes and doing what is best for her kids.  She works tirelessly and never gives up! Our students are so lucky to have her as a teacher.

In Closing....

This week, and the rest of this semester, let's remember to in the midst of our crazy day, stop and have conversations with kids.  Find out what's going on in their lives, why they make the choices they do.  Sometimes it may feel like we're talking to a brick wall, but that doesn't mean we stop.  Great teachers never stop trying!

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