Kim’s Blog

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Student/Teacher Parallels

I’ve been struggling lately with a feeling of inadequacy when it comes to interacting and teaching my students.  The students I have in my classroom this year are emotional, needy and deeling with huge issues that I’m not sure how I would handle as an adult.  I have beat myself up telling myself to be more understanding, more patient, more whatever and yet in the meantime, I can see the rest of the students waiting patiently for me to deal with the issues that crop up continuously throughout the day.  I feel incompetent as I try to establish a supportive learning environment within my classroom.  

As I was driving to school today, feeling sorry for myself, feeling sorry for my students who come from unsupportive, neglectful and abusive homes, I realized that I was feeling out of control.  And frankly, as teachers, we are trained to control nearly everything.  Throughout my experiences I have realized that I am a control freak.  I have realized that I feel incompetent because I can’t control my students’ responses, behaviors and attitudes.  I can’t control my students’ feelings.  Throughout my Differentiated Intructional journey I am learning that I don’t need to control every learning experience of my students.  I get that.  But it still doesn’t help quell my feelings that I am supposed to be the one in charge, I’m the one who is responsible for everything that happens in my classroom, I am responsible for the learning experiences of my students.  I see it as a double edge sword.

So as I nurtured my feelings I began to think about these children and how I can’t control anything in their lives outside of school hours.  I can’t control what they are fed, how much sleep they get, how much love they receive, how many learning experiences they acquire.  Then I started to think about my reactions.  I am always telling my students “You can’t control how someone else treats you, but you can control how you react to other people.”  Great advice, maybe I should take it!  Then I started to think of my students and some of these inappropriate responses to various situations.  My students can’t control any more than I can how much food they are provided with, what kind of food they are fed, how much sleep they get each night, how much love their parents give them or how they are treated by other people.  I can control how I treat them and as an adult, it is my responsibility to put my feelings aside to treat these precious children with respect, love and caring.  It is my duty and I guess I have to put those issues I cannot control on the back burner.  I also need to realize that just as I want to jump up and scream in frustration, my students feel like they would like to do this too and on many occassions they do!

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1 Comment»

  Stephen King wrote @

I understand where you are coming from and I think you already have the answer. You teach it and model what you want. The tough part is how do you teach what you want? I’ve reflected on that for years and I’m ready to go in a new direction.

Have you ever read Stephen Covey’s book The Leader in Me? It is a book about schools that use Covey’s seven habits as a way of teaching positive social skills that promote Ieadership. I went to the Western Canada Educational Administrators’ Conference in Edmonton and sat through a presentation by a couple of staff from St. Charles School in Edmonton (http://www.stcharles.ecsd.net/) and they used the book as a way of changing school culture. I’m actually looking at it as something that we can do in La Loche. Maybe it is something that could help you. Just a thought Kim. I’m glad you are recognizing your frustrations for what they are and realizing how important your role is to the students in your room. Good luck getting there.


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