A teacher/writer friend of mine stopped me in the hallway.
“You haven’t been writing she said. Is it because you don’t have time or you don’t know how to say what you want to say?”
“Both.” I replied
She looked at me knowingly.
So I haven’t been writing because I haven’t known how to say what I need to say.
I have some hard kids this year, some kids who don’t seem to care.
It hurts my heart to write that down.
I sit at home and I think about what I can do to get these kids to care. Some nights I resolve to love those hard kids even harder.
Some nights I go home and think that I never want to go back to that classroom again.
I am frustrated, I am impatient and I am tired.
I started today feeling less then 100% and resolved to just baby step it through the day. If I could just stay calm, be present and keep moving forward it would be Ok. About midway through the day I hit a serious slump. As I walked around during writing time I noticed that many of my kids were completely unengaged. I sat down at my work table and tried to regroup. What next? I looked at the kids who were sitting at my work table and noticed almost blank pages. What now?
And one of my little guys asked “Are you sad?” And before I could put on my teacher face I replied “Yes, I am sad.” And then another little guy said “Are you disappointed?” And I replied “Yes, I am disappointed.”
And in that low moment I realized that I was reaching them. They had seen me. They were empathizing. They were connecting. They were seeing value in our work.
So I am holding on to that low moment. Because in that low moment those kids who I thought did not care, they cared. They cared enough to see what I was feeling, to recognize it and to ask. We connected, not in a moment of joy or pride or accomplishment but in a moment of sadness and disappointment. That gives me hope.