Sunday, February 2, 2014

100 Days Smarter

“Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children dont usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.” -Dalai Lama XIV

I have been teaching for 100 days! It's a big day in kindergarten, the 100th day. In my class we have been adding one piece of a 100-piece puzzle to the board each day--and today the puzzle was finished. Just about every single activity we did today- read-alouds, math, writing, snack-had to do with the number 100. And with the excitement of it being a special day, meant that there was more buy-in from the kids. Really a lovely way to end the week.
100 Days, 100 Snacks
It's good to end things on a high note and remember the positives. One of my students told me, for the second time this week, that I am the best teacher ever. It's sweet, and possibly nice that these kiddos don't have perspective or other teachers to compare me to, so yeah, I may be the best. But still, it's important to realize that my kindergarteners view what goes on in class very differently than I do.

I suppose this is the upside to my dilemma of attempting logic with my kindergarteners. I haven't quite cracked the kindergarten code--classroom management is HARD, and trying to explain WHY my students should behave appropriately is often lost on them because I'm using logic and talking about long term consequences, and effects of behavior on others, when developmentally speaking, these students are still egotistic and unable to process certain logic the way older students are. Most of the time this is something I gripe about, but it also means that my students interpret what goes on in class differently from me. That when I end a day thinking, man, that was tough and kind of terrible, they leave, happy. They give me a high five, or a hug, or tell me they love me.

It's my students who simultaneously make me question whether I really should be a teacher, challenge me daily, and cause me great amounts of stress, while they remind me of why I'm a teacher, why I'd rather have no other job, and why I'm passionate about what I do. Yes, my students are 100 days smarter, but hey, so am I. And as much as I complain and question, I love my students. And amazingly enough, I believe they love me too, and that's what makes it all worthwhile.

Here's to tomorrow, day 101. And to many day 100s to come.

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