I was recently talking with a colleague about student behaviors and documentation; and I had the opportunity to reflect upon the conversations we have (and maybe don’t have frequently enough) in our school. We had an amazing conversation about our own personal journeys and we discussed how we are constantly trying to learn in grow in all that we do (mindset & language being a big part of that).
I’ve always been passionate about seeing the best in our students and realizing that student behaviors are merely a form of communication and not a sign of disrespect or being “naughty.” There’s nothing worse than watching the facial expressions of colleagues while a student is emotionally escalated and acting out in a way that so many people refer to as “unacceptable.” It’s not disheartening because people are frustrated with the child and how they are acting. It’s frustrating because most often, people tend to see that student as their one negative, “naughty” behavior, rather than the kid they truly are and all that they will become.
Moral of the story: the way we see our students drastically impacts how our students see themselves, how our colleagues see our students, and ultimately, how our students will learn, grow, and behave within our school.
If you're a teacher, you know that February to March is hands down one of the most challenging stretches of the school year. Kids are rambunctious as they wait for Spring and Summer to arrive, educational material becomes more complex (which means, more frustrating and challenging for students to learn), and state testing commences. If your lucky, you'll get a spring break some time during those two months that will give you enough of a breather to continue the rest of the year with a positive and motivated mindset.
Undeniably so, I was at that point. I was completely, without a doubt, 100% ready for Spring break. This year, our spring break was 3 days instead of 2, so let me tell you, I was chalking that up for a win. As spring break commenced, kids excitedly went home for their break, teachers left their laptops and materials at school in an attempt to leave work at work, and everyone went about their way excited to have time for themselves!
Then COVID-19 made its presence in the United States and nearly every school district in the nation began closing schools - it's history in the making, folks! I LOVE my job; but, I want to be transparent: the thought of having a few additional days home due to the virus and the protection everyone's well-being didn't sound like the worst thing in the world.
That is...until they cancelled school indefinitely!