|at Two Writing Teachers!|
I don't know what else to do to reach my students. I've worked so hard: reflected and rethought and sought to try new ideas, to make personal connections, to help them see real-life purposes, to nudge them to set goals and reflect on their learning, to show them that learning and literacy can be fun.
But some of them just aren't there yet, even halfway through the year. So many of them still don't see themselves as readers and writers, although many have come a long way from where they were in the fall. Some of them have an identity to keep up that clashes with being a good student. Some just don't buy in to the whole "school" thing. Some of them are hesitant, under-confident, unsure of themselves. And some are just so wrapped up in their social lives that they really don't want to focus on anything else.
How do I reach them? What else can I do to convince them that this matters and to instill in them a joy and a hunger that will make them lifelong readers, writers, and learners?
I don't know, but I will keep trying. I will keep striving and searching and working. I will dry my tears and come back to them tomorrow with smiles and enthusiasm and love.
And tomorrow, or next week, or next month, I will reach another student. Every one counts.
Jenn, I cried on the FIRST day back from break (a parent caused the tears, though, not students). Read my slice today--one student at a time. That's all you can do. You don't give up. You keep trying. One student at a time...ReplyDelete
Saw your post on my blog. I replied there, but wanted to make sure you saw it.Delete
Oh Jenn---just because I don't write about being upset doesn't mean it doesn't happen. That's one of the reasons I chose Joy as my one little word. I need to remember to find the good in every day. It's been working too. Yesterday was crap, but finding the joy each hour of my day helped me realize that what started my day off so awful shouldn't define anything. One moment at a time....
Thank you, Deb! I love the idea of "finding the joy each hour". Sounds like a great way to focus on all the little moments in every day that really are good!Delete
Hang in there, Jennifer, and keep crying - that sounds crazy but it will help you destress at times, and tears mean that you have a huge heart and care deeply about your students. There is bound to be some slice of joy this week. You will find it.ReplyDelete
Oh Jennifer, some days are like that, but then there are days when it all comes together. You make a difference to each and every child, even if they don't show it they know you care.ReplyDelete
I recently cried in the teacher's lounge at lunch. We cry because we care so deeply and our job is just overwhelming at moments. We expect so much of ourselves, too. These words help me...pause...get some perspective and persevere. Just keep going, ours is part of an ongoing story for our students. What you model does matter. Your smiles, enthusiam and love matter.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing, Kim. I find that it always helps so much just to know that others struggle sometimes in the same ways that I do! I love the idea of an "ongoing story for our students". It's so encouraging to remember that each day is a chance to make a difference!Delete
Some days are for sad tears...a really smart guy, when you are trying to encourage him with the idea of staying in school and graduating (he's a 5th grader)says that yeah, his mom always says he is smart, too- she says he could even work at Walmart... other days are for happy tears...a really smart girl, also a 5th grader, quietly says she wants to be a doctor... true stories of a couple of my ELLs.ReplyDelete
So Chris is right...keep crying
Deb is right...one moment at a time
Elsie is right...they know you care
And you are right...I will reach another student, every one counts...
I hope tomorrow is as wonderful as today was hard.ReplyDelete
I remember so many days last year that you did such wonder with your students. If you can cling to those moments, like Deb's post, I know it will be okay. And all those above have such good advice. Instead of crying, I always came home & kicked the garage door, HARD! Now, silly thing, I don't have a garage door, so guess it'll have to be the back door! Anyway, you did say also "many have come a long way from where they were in the fall". I hope you can cling to that too Jennifer. They are there, listening, despite the outward demeanor. I think there's more, & the young students have such a touch time showing that they like you, but I suspect they do. And finally, a colleague gave me advice one time when I was so down. She said to teach to those who are responding, letting the others come along as they wish. Enjoy every moment with those who want to learn & grow, & dismiss the others (so to speak). That way, at least you are having a great time with some. BEST!ReplyDelete
And-could you find my e-mail on my blog & send me your address? In my cleaning out, I found something I think you will like. It's a surprise!
Your comments are always so thoughtful, Linda! While I have a hard time "letting the others come along," I know this is what I need to do mentally -- focus on the students who are engaged, enthusiastic, and making progress -- in order to help myself remember that I am making a difference to them. I tried to do this today and had a much better day! (and oh boy, I can't wait for your surprise!!!)Delete