Friday, February 14, 2014

The Forgotten Belt Loop

In the mid 90's I was teaching first grade.  As a male in elementary with an early childhood endorsement, I often taught classrooms filled with students with behavior issues (mostly boys) who "needed a male role model in their lives".  To be honest, I actually welcomed the challenge, because so many of my students really didn't have positive role models.  However, there was one child in particular who was a challenge for me and in order to protect the innocent, I will call him Jimmy:)  Jimmy had a knack for putting people right up to the edge of their patience and then giving a little nudge.  Around the end of winter (about the time that teachers and students are desperate for spring break), Jimmy gave me that little nudge that sent me over my cliff.  After a pretty rough morning of behavior issues, I had asked the class if there were any questions.  Jimmy's hand went up in the air and then proceeded to tell me that I had missed a belt loop with my belt that morning.  About 30 seconds later, Jimmy was in the principal's office with no note of explanation (which is something that I always ask teachers to provide).  Fortunately, my principal had the wisdom to realize that I just needed a "Jimmy Break" and kept him for a cool off period (time for the teacher to cool off). I'm glad my principal never asked what Jimmy had done to warrant a trip to the office, because I would have felt a little silly explaining it was because he had pointed out a fashion faux pas:).

More than 15 years later, I can look back on that incident and laugh.  It seems so silly and insignificant, but at that point I was a little frazzled.  I often think of that episode when a teacher sends a student down and says, "I need a break".  I get it.  I've been there!  The key is knowing when we are getting frustrated or hyper-focusing on a student and allowing a break (for the student and teacher).  It's okay to say, I need a break from time to time.  Better to lighten the load than let the straw break the camel's back. Don't be that teacher who sends their student to the office for pointing out a clothing mishap:) The truth is that often our most challenging students can be those that are the most dear to our hearts (like Jimmy is to mine) and the things that push us over the edge can be things that we can laugh about (at least 15 years later :).

The Fashion Police:)

Monday, February 17: No School

Tuesday, February 18: No Students/Staff Professional Development Day
                                       8:00-11:00 in Board Room/12:30-3:30 at Various Buildings
                                       Building will be open until 4:30 pm

Wednesday, February 19: 

Thursday, February 20: 8:00 Staff Meeting in LMC
                                        1:00-4:30 Elementary Principal Meeting

Friday, February 21:

February 25: 3rd & 4th Grades to DIA 9:30 am-1:30 pm 
                      SOTM Assembly 3:00 pm
February 26: 100th Day of School!!  100 Ties will be on display in my office for any classes that
                      want to come down. 
February 28: MIRM Kick-Off Assembly 3:00 pm
March 3: Board of Education Presentation by the School Improvement Committee 6:30 pm
March 6: Red Wings Assembly in the afternoon


"Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself." - Saint Francis de Sales
"I'm extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end." - Margaret Thatcher
"Endurance is patience concentrated." - Thomas Carlyle

No comments:

Post a Comment