We have all found ourselves dealing with times when we have all said the phrase “this is not how it was supposed to be”. That significant other should have stayed with us, that thing shouldn’t have happened, I should have been able to go to that event. Life is ever changing and we live in a world were we prefer knowing what will happen.
Currently, I am dealing with this change too. On the day this posts, the summer camp I work at should be welcoming over 360 campers, 80 volunteers and all of our staff. But, due to COVID -19 we can’t welcome all of them. We have had to go to a virtual camp and my heart hurts. This school year was not supposed to end online. I should be able to do all the things I am excited about but however, the world changed and those events and plans changed.
As I was grieving and processing my own emotions, it helped remind me of this is what our students experience. They have lots of times when things do not go the way they want. Their parents do not let them go to that event, they realize their friends weren’t actually there friends, a significant other breaks up with them, their parents get a divorce, and there so many other things that can happen. No matter what stage of life our students or even ourselves are in, we will all face changes. Students are trying to figure out who they are and where they belong on top of that which can make things even harder.
As a teacher, we get to see these times in our students lives and we get to help them process. This is another unique part of our job and honestly one of the hardest and most rewarding. It is heartbreaking hearing our students going through really difficult times but, getting to help them understand the world in a joy. Sometimes our students show us they are hurting or going through change in ways we do not always appreciate. Behaviour that is not the norm, lashing out, short fuses, not doing school work and even more. I have found that sitting and talking to students can help you understand more of what happening. Behaviour is always a reaction to something and that something could be good or bad. I know with the many conversations I have had with students that there is so much more to them then we give them credit for. Making sure our students feel heard can lead to many miracle in the classroom.
As adults we have learned how to cope. However, our students are learning to cope and process the world. Parents and everyone who influences the child is there to help them process them. We as teachers can get to teach them how to talk it out, how to feel our emotions and so much more.
As we experience life changes, remembering that our students also face these can change how you teach. Being more empathetic and understanding and willing to go the extra mile. That will make you an even better teacher for your students. Meeting them where you are.
This blog post almost makes no sense to me. There is no great conclusion or big summary at the end like most blog posts do. However, I think my own thoughts helped grounded me and reminded me to take a step back. I hope it does the same for you. If you want more on this topic, check out my blog post on being vulnerable with your students.