Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Unloving Ways

I recently came across this quote on pintrest and I really took it to heart. "The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways."
We have all experienced "that kid" once or twice, or a bit more in our teaching career. The one kid who can get under your skin more moments than not. The one kid who purposely does the opposite of EVERYTHING you ask. The one kid who you pray will be absent today. The one kid who can make you rethink your whole teaching career.

Amongst your frustration it's incredibly difficult to step aside to think, "Why are they, they way they are?" I have taught in an urban district for the majority of my career. I have had kids that only eat when they are at school, lost a parent, don't have a bed, or have parents that are never around. Sadly, the list goes on and on of the obstacles kids must overcome. These are the kids who need the most love.

I am as guilty as the next teacher giving up too easily or making excuses for my students behavior. Year after year I become a stronger more reflective teacher, because that is what my students deserve.

There are reasons for kid's behavior and giving them LOVE is exactly what they need. Now I know you are wondering what can I do to give them the love they need? Unfortunately there is no magic solution and things don't happen over night. Here is what I find helps us make steps in the right direction:

Get to know the child From one on one time during lunch or a shared journal try to find out all you can about them. Kids are individuals and the more you know them, the better you will understand their needs.

Be Patient Everything takes time! You might make progress and then have a rough day or two and that's OK! Know when to revisit a situation when you and your student are in a calmer state. Kids can smell frustration.

Learn to forgive Every day is a new day. Do not hold grudges on kids from a previous day or days before. Give kids a chance to have great moments.

Know that you do not have all the answers No one has all the answers, seek help when you need it. If you are not having luck with one source, find another. Counselors, administrators or other teachers can often give you great insight.

Don't give up Keep asking. Keep searching. Every child is unique and your persistence will help give the child all they need.

So when you have a child asking for love in the most unloving ways please take a step back and remember that they are a child. They may not have all the skills we as adults have. They may have had more trauma in their short life then we could ever imagine. Find the strength to give them they love they need and deserve.