The first time it happened I cracked up. The little girl’s response took me totally by surprise. And then it happened again. Awesome! Totally awesome!
I remember like it was yesterday. A young girl, probably about six years old, walked past me wearing a hat with the letter R on it. I, being the outgoing and inquisitive person that I am, had to ask, what’s the R stand for? To which she replied—I could not make this up—Rrrrrr.
I was hysterical. I was expecting her to give me a name like Reagan or Riley. Or quite possibly her favorite team such as the Redskins and Reds. Nope. Instead, this innocent little girl gave me the sound that the letter R makes. And not only did she do this once. She gave me the exact same answer the following week. No prompting. I promise.
Star Wars has been a part of our collective childhoods since the seventies and with Disney planning on expanding the Star Wars presence in their theme parks, it looks like it will be for many years to come. It is here where I must hesitantly admit that my son, just six years old, is hooked. On Darth Vader!
One of the most evil characters ever created. He has a Darth Vader Christmas ornament that he once carries with him wherever he went. One night he actually slept with it. Whenever we play Star Wars, he always gets to be Darth Vader and I am left to choose one of the other major characters. I don’t mind. Why would I, a grown adult, ever choose to play such an evil role?
He woke up crazy-early. 5 am to be exact. That in my opinion is too early for a little kid to be awake. And it was apparent by the way he behaved. Or didn’t, to be more exact. I brought a blanket and a pillow downstairs, hoping he would lie down and maybe–just maybe–fall asleep. Or at the very least, rest.
That wasn’t going to happen. At least not yet. He fussed. He complained. He acted as any kid would that was awake an hour and half earlier than normal.
But then something happened. His sister came down. That was what who he needed. You can see the pillow at his feet and the blanket behind his back. They were warm and comfortable. They couldn’t provide the warmth and comfort that he needed. But his sister could.
Oftentimes the most difficult part of an educator’s day is not the curriculum they teach or the long hours they work. For many educators, what keeps us up at night is trying to figure out how to best meet the social and emotional needs of their students. While this is an area in which I am learning everyday, I feel that I have learned some things that may help others find more success with students that seem to struggle to make it through the day.
Start Fresh Each Day
Students that show patters of misbehavior are accustomed to people treating them based on their worst behavior. Don’t be that person! Make it a point to give your students a chance to start each day over. With a smile on your face and a wide open heart.
Earlier this week I had a very difficult encounter with a young lady that I had to keep after school. She screamed at me, she yelled at me and she couldn’t wait to be out of my sight. But the next day I called her into my office. I told her it was a new day and that I loved her and then I gave her a hug. Before leaving school today she made it a point to come up to me and give me a hug. All students deserve the opportunity to begin each day anew.
BAM Radio hosts 4,369 episodes reaching 7.7 million social media users a month. We're your source for "PD to Go!"
BAM! Radio Network is now the largest all-education talk radio network in the world, offering programming from the nation's top education organizations and thought leaders and reaching a wide audience of people passionately committed to quality education.