August 22, 2016, Prescott- My primary goal, in my present position, is to build trust with my students, while adhering to the guidelines of the program now being used by the school district.
Hearing their stories, with both ears and heart open, is a major component of building trust with anyone. There is far too much, of people sticking fingers in their ears and mouthing the equivalent of “Nyah, naah, can’t hear you!” One way of doing this is “That’s not what the program says!”
While I encourage students to follow the program, being in their world is major. This morning, one of the boys, whom I met at the bus, told me of his weekend, and his mother getting a new kitten, to add to their feline family. The patriarch, as it happens, is called the Sumo Wrestler Cat, owing to his girth. SWC tends to keep his distance from the others, and, true to form, is the first one at the food dish. The kitten will need to learn this pecking order- in which she is last. The two juvenile female cats have ideas of their own.
Others have less amusing domestic tales, and as kids do, they bring the troubles of home with them into the classroom. The task of changing mindsets, and letting even the most woebegone know they are loved beyond measure, falls to yours truly. I think most adults here WANT to be able to show caring for these children, but not getting it returned in kind, wears on those who are themselves needy. On we go, however, and my eternal optimist middle manager sees “incremental progress” being made, already.