The Sumo Wrestler Cat

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.

4 thoughts on “The Sumo Wrestler Cat

  1. I love the image of the SWC! But even more, the fact that you are listening to these kids and hearing their stories is a real blessing for them. It’s great that they are able to be as analytical as the pecking order implies!


  2. It broke my heart to hear some of the stories of home life from some of the kids I taught. And then there are the ones who never speak, because they know to do so would jeopardize them, so they kept their secrets of abuse. But it was always in their eyes and their behavior. It is far too often that the only love and appreciation some children receive is from their teachers. So happy for your students that you are one of those who sees with the heart.


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