Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two Thoughts Before School Starts

Tomorrow I begin my nineteenth year in the same school and my twenty-third year in all. A few thoughts have been rattling around in my head this week and I wanted to get them out. If I do not, you might not hear from me in a while.

This first part is for my pal, GL.... Teachers, please try your best to see the student and not just their behavior. I know this is a tough one sometimes. It seems like there is always THAT kid who can't sit still, who can't be quiet, who rubs you the wrong way. Sometimes you might think his/her very mission in life might just be to ruin your life. But, think back to one of those tough students...It's the BEHAVIOR you don't like, not the student. That knowledge, in the heat of the moment, probably is of little consolation. But, try taking a step back and just let it soak in...Since it's about their behavior, we can work on that together. Being mean or talking to kids in a demoralizing way contributes to the problem, not solves it.

One thing I do often is ask the kid semi-privately 'what's going on.' You would be AMAZED at how many times they have an answer to the question. What would amaze you even more is what the trouble is. Even if they can't put things into words, you will eventually build a relationship. I also honestly believe that some kids can NOT control themselves in certain situations. Perhaps some compassion and trying to put kids in situations where they can be successful might be something to try.

I am positive I have made this comment before in this blog......but I always TRY to think that if I had lived the same life as the child has and had the same experiences, I would behave in the same way....How would I want to be treated?

The second major theme bouncing around in my head today is about change...and love. Two people that I have profound admiration are changing jobs. Two very sweet personal emails announced the changes. I replied to both with a heartfelt pleasure at their new journeys and sadness at the personal loss. I believe both people knew how much I appreciated the role they have played in my life...which made me MORE committed to my new personal mission of letting people know how much they mean to me. I have been working on it for a few years, but I am redoubling my efforts and ramping it up.

I try to let special people know that I care about them and love them. I think it's important. I think I neglect my family a little in that, but I hope they feel it. It's a big and crazy world and all we truly have is each other. So, hug everyone a little tighter....tell them your feelings....hold on to a few hands... and let's enjoy this amazing journey together. Put yourself out there...make the world a better place.

I read a Facebook update by a new online friend, Patti Digh that said she was intending on writing a thank you note every day for the rest of her life. While that is a little ambitious for me, I want to try to be much more grateful for the awesome people in my life. If you haven't checked out Patti's blog, 37 days, you need to. Be sure to read the story behind the blog.

Speaking of that.... thanks for reading this! I am not quite sure why anyone would want to read my ramblings, but I am grateful that you do.


diane said...

If only more of our troubled children had a Mr. Shay in their corner.

Keep on caring and making a difference.

Karen Janowski said...

and thank you for your ramblings. It is vital to remind ourselves to separate student from behavior. you get to the heart of the matter and I do hope your colleagues learn from your model.