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I'm a Mirror

I'm a mirror. I know it. I've always known it. The louder I am, the louder the kids are. When I'm frazzled and unorganized, the kids are frazzled and unorganized. As we inch ever so slowly toward June and the lazy days of summer, I find my self saying, "Seriously?" and "Really, guys?" way more often than I like.  And guess what I hear coming out of the mouths of my students more often than I'd like...

I read a story recently about a man who put a voice recorder in his autistic son's shirt pocket, because he was concerned about the treatment he was receiving at school. His son, being nonverbal, couldn't communicate with him, so this father thought he was doing what was necessary to protect his son. While I don't necessarily agree with the father's actions, it turns out that what was on that recording device at the end of the day was less than professional, although not abusive.

I've been thinking a lot about that and while I don't think anyone would actually tape me in class, I've been asking myself how I would sound if, in fact, someone was. My goal is to go home at the end of the day knowing that I would have nothing to be ashamed of if that were to happen to me. Most of the time I'd be pretty darn happy to share what goes on in my room with the rest of the world, so having that goal in the back of my mind really pulls me through those rough moments. You know, those moments when you've given the same directions 5 times and half of the class still doesn't know what to do. When you remind them 15 times that we're going to lunch and someone still forgets their lunchbox in the room. When a kid is playing airplane with the center materials instead of actually doing the center activity. When you've asked and asked for them to check to be sure no one has two copies of something because you're one short - and then they finally find it AFTER you've had to stop your lesson to fumble with the copier to make one more?? You know those moments. We all do.

Now, it's not always easy and I'm certainly not perfect. But I am a mirror and I know that my actions, words and behaviors are reflected back at me by 18 innocent children every day. Luckily, the good stuff bounces back just as easily as the not-so-good stuff. Maybe even more so.

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40 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder. Your students ate so lucky to have you :)

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    1. Aw, thanks friend. Somedays they're luckier than others. lol!

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  2. Great post Denise!! I too often say things and then scold myself later for it. I work really hard to keep my patient sing song voice, especially at this time of year. This is a great reminder of how we are such important role models to these little guys:))

    Aloha,
    Corinna
    Surfin' Through Second

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    1. It is SO hard sometimes, but I force myself to take a step back and remember that some of my kids are only seven still! (Several times a day...)

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  3. This is so true. I have been having a very tough time with several children in my class. Today I had my AP come in to observe at reading time to help with some advice, and I was surprised by what she said. Apparently there is a 'tone' that has crept into my voice (due to my continual frustration) that I hadn't even realised had crept in.

    So tomorrow I will not only be thinking about what I am saying, but ensuring there is no 'tone'. I am not sure when I will be thinking about what I am trying to teach!! :-s

    Carolyn
    Sowing Seeds of Learning

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    1. How's it going, Carolyn?
      That's awesome that you have a relationship with your AP that you can get advice and support like that. Some years (and some kids) are more challenging than others and before we know it, we turn into the teacher we never wanted to be - even for just a second. We just have to move on and try not to repeat those mistakes.

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  4. This is a good reminder for us. One of the best advices that I got when student teaching was: When you talk to your students always imagine that their parents are next to them. I try to remember this when they are loud in the classroom or don't show respect to each other.
    Keep working hard, only s few days til Summer! :)

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    1. That's a great thing to help keep things in perspective!

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  5. What a wonderful reminder, especially as we near the end of the school year and students start testing our patience. Thank you!
    Jodi

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    1. And some sure test it more than others! lol!

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  6. Replies
    1. Just a great thing to think about from time to time to keep things in check!

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  7. I hear you loud and clear. A couple years ago a child had a phone in the classroom and was able to let the parent hear what the teacher said. We should post a sign in our classrooms to remind us to check our tone, our words, and our attitude BEFORE we open our mouths!

    Patty

    Second In Line

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    1. In this age of digital devices, that's going to happen more and more. I might need a sign for the next few weeks!

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  8. Oh you speak to my heart......especially at this time of year ! On a funny note, today the eggs are hatching at school, HUGE excitement all around ( I am on my lunch now). Well, one hatched before our eyes just as the kids arrived and I knocked my tea over and it was spilling over the cords for the incubator and yes, Mrs. F said a bad word.....we did talk about it and I apologized. Have to wait and see if I get any calls on that one....

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    1. Oh gosh! I've done that too. A not-so-nice word slipped out when I snagged my pantyhose on the recess picnic table. Now I just don't wear pantyhose! lol!
      Hope you didn't catch any flack for an innocent slip of the tongue!

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  9. I loved this post, I have also contemplated the ramifications of being taped and, like you, have gone over my day, because I love the kids and what I do and hope never to diminish them in anyway.

    One time last year they called for an indoor recess and under my breath I said "crap" one of my students said, "I heard that." We have to remember they hear everything and absorb it all. Thanks for the reminder of our importance to little one's self esteem.

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    1. I have kids saying "crap" and "sucks" and "what the..." all the time. They don't seem to think it's a bad work, unless of course WE say it!
      But of course, we have to be the role models in trying to change that. And in your defense, indoor recess is totally crap-worthy. lol!

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  10. I definitely needed this reminder...

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    1. I think we all do from time to time...

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  11. This is the perfect time of the year to be reminded that we get what we give! Thanks for the reminder!
    Connie :)
    www.welcometofirstgraderoom5.blogspot.com

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    1. Maybe we need a schedule so we can keep reminding each other throughout the next few weeks! lol!

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  12. I needed this. Thanks! I always tell myself that my 'dissapointed voice' should not be the one speaking to my kids.
    My Second Sense

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    1. It's not always easy, but we have to make it a priority.

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  13. Thank you. All true. Very true, and very convicting.

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    1. I keep having to remind myself as well, but I think that's a good thing. You can't change something unless you acknowledge there is something that might need changing...

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  14. I too have been dealing with this and am working on the way I speak to my students! I am ashamed to admit that I wouldn't want to hear a recording of myself talking to my students. Thank you for the reminder!

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    1. Don't be ashamed! Be proud that you recognize that you want to be a more positive role model to your kids. It is NOT easy and some days I really struggle too!

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  15. What a beautifully written post. Thanks for the reminder {especially this time of year}.

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. It felt good to write it down - it makes it even more real.

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  16. What a great reminder of how we influence the world around us at school.

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    1. Teaching little kids is surely not a little responsibility!

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  17. I saw that article too! When I first saw the headline, I was worried that I'd read something in that article that I would say to my class... obviously I am nothing like those teachers. But I am a very sarcastic person, and sometimes maybe too much so! I need to remember to keep my guard up and put on my happy face more often. :) Thanks for writing this!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

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  18. I thought the same thing when I saw that story on the news. A great wake up call! Thanks for this great post, Denise! Great timing at the end of the year!

    Delighted in Second

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    1. Today I did the "If you can't say anything nice..." thing. I felt myself really getting frustrated with a student, so I just put my head down on the desk.

      He stopped- and asked, "Are you crying?"

      And I told him, "No. This is just really hard for me, and I'm not sure what to do to help you right now."

      I think the honesty did more than what my frustration ever could have.

      Tough to do at the end of the year, but it's worth it to try not to let the frustration creep into my words and voice. Definitely easier said than done- but worth trying.

      Thanks for this one! :) Well written!

      Jenny
      Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

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  20. I LOVE that you replied to all of our posts....really nice since I don't have my own blog and feedback is always nice. I did not hear back from anyone about my slip of the tongue....I think the chick excitement overshadowed my faux pas, thank heavens. Happy weekend !!

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  21. It is so good to hear all of these stories. Thank you for reminding all of us to be mindful of our words. I always try to be a good model for my students...but the end of the year is always a test. Patience, patience, patience!

    Nicole
    http://mrsriosteachessecondgrade.blogspot.com/

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  22. Thanks so much for the reminder. This time of my year, my patience really begins to wear thin. It's nice to know that I'm not the only teacher that has students that don't always listen.

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