Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why My Job Can Stink

I just spent several minutes holding and hugging a first grader as sobs wracked her body. She was devastated that she did not get to share at the end of reading workshop. Of course, I recognize that this significant reaction was only very tangentially related to share. Mostly it's from all the various weights that she carries on her thin shoulders, most of which I don't, and probably won't ever, understand.

The only thing I could do was hold her tight and tell her that tomorrow we'll see what we can do about share.

5 comments:

Michaele said...

I have several friends who have taught in the "upper grades" where hugs are such a no-no, that that when they move to kindergarten or first grade, they freak the first time they are either hugged by a child or need to hug one.

Hugs are good. They fit right in where words won't. And yes, finding another opportunity to share is a good idea. If you don't deliver, she'll remember it.

No pressure.

Greenisle13 said...

You did the only thing you could do - hugs make all the difference.

Mention to her Mom what happened and have her share another day.Michaele is correct - she will remember whether you follow through or not.

Heather

teach5 said...

You are right about hugs in kindergarten, I have to do them, sometimes the kids just NEED them. But as a guy teaching kindergarten it brings it's risks. Sometimes I have to give some needy kids a number limit on how many hugs a day.... I have to be careful "how" I hug. But I don't think you can teach kindergarten without some physical contact. It would be so sterile and lifeless. the other side of that is that they would cheerfully dog pile on me in the middle of the floor if they thought they could.

teach5 said...

Do you use any kind of system to rotate who gets turns? I haven't done it, but the teacher next to me last year had a can with popsicle sticks in it that had each child's name on them. That way she didn't inadvertently skip kids. I always worry about the quiet, hard working, well behaved ones. They get overlooked because they never cause any trouble or drama....
Anyway if you had a system in place, once they get used to it, you shouldn't get these kind of reactions to missed turns... I know you said you thought there were other issues...

mindtheteacher said...

Poor baby. The hardest part of teaching is dealing with the baggage so many children bring with them to school.

I'm happy to say that I work in a school where hugging is allowed at all grade levels -- not that many 5th graders want hugs but it's not forbidden.