Teachers: The Life Rings in choppy seas
Sipping on my coffee and watching morning news shows is one of the perks of my day.
Today was no different.
Oprah visited CBS THIS MORNING where her friend Gayle interviewed her. I have always loved the loyalty of their friendship. They remind us of connectedness and its importance to our overall wellbeing. Just two normal gals dishing about life…
Today I wanted to be sitting there with them.
It seems Oprah’s new enlightenment forum is on childhood trauma. I know firsthand what they are talking about.
For me and my fellow teachers, the behavior that is exhibited by students on a daily basis is very telling as to the extent of their connectedness with their home.
Chaos breeds chaos.
For many students the structure of the school day and the routine of a daily agenda are life rings in a choppy sea.
It is interesting to me that Oprah is just now saying this today on television.
Educators are alert to asking themselves Oprah’s questions on a daily basis. As they take attendance, their eyes are open to all students and they may wonder: “What’s the matter with this kid? Further they ask themselves: “What has happened to this kid?”
Student behavior often begs these questions for teachers. Sensitivity to home life is a class that teachers don’t get enough of.
Let’s face it. There are students who are so disruptive in a classroom that, sometimes, teachers breathe a sigh of relief when they fail to come to school. It is a lot of sweat equity and extra work to deal with a student who is throwing the focus off that comprehensive lesson. Teachers are under the gun to meet curriculum concerns, while trying to keep the rest of the classroom engaged as this student acts out.
It’s like trying to spit in the wind. It takes a whole lot of effort and patience to see past the behavior to what is the crux of the problem.
People like Oprah are highlighting the fact that trauma in childhood could be the ambivalence of a parent figure. It may be the fact that for the third night in a row this student may have slept on a couch or floor. That they are really not sure where they will lay their head tonight. Food and nutritional needs, hygiene, never getting picked up, CPS visits, abuse between parents, and simply the knowledge that once the bell rings at the end of the day, the merry-go-round of uncertainty starts to spin again.
But Oprah got out. She is one of the most successful women in history.
A teacher and school.
She explains that everybody needs someone who believes in them. Someone to say I have faith in you and you are going to be okay. Grit and growth cannot even enter your mindset if you have this hole in your soul..
There is a lot going on around the country about the role of the teacher.
To tell them it is merely to teach the “State Standards” for a student to be proficient is absurd.
To be measured as a high performing teacher based upon these things is ludicrous.
To shake off public education like a bad coat in favor of the less diverse and cookie cutter charter schools makes me sad.
The approach to the student, comprehensively, is the key to success.
Thanks for listening.
Thank a teacher today.