Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fabulous and Frustrating

Today was equally fabulous and frustrating. The fabulous parts were all about the kids. Kids engaged in books and talking about books. Kids completely focused on writing their own books and excited to share their writing. Kids analyzing their responsibilities in our Home-School compact and deciding what those responsibilities look like so we can make a video about them. Kids working together (or cooperating as the Home-School compact says) with blocks to create a very long pattern. Kids asking each other for help. Kids listening to one another. Kids just being fabulous first graders.

The frustrating parts were the adults. Authority figures talking to teachers in immensely condescending tones. Teachers talking to children in immensely condescending tones. Adults expecting a ridiculous amount of bureaucratic paperwork and nonsense. Adults setting up school-wide rules and consequences that completely contradict our calling ourselves a Responsive Classroom school. Adults micromanaging teachers.

Each sentence above, both about the kids and about the adults is a long story in and of itself. The kid ones I can write (and am likely doing so quite often on our class blog at least). The adult ones are not so shareable.

I am so grateful for the joy, excitement, and, to be honest, the respect in my classroom with my students. Respect for me. Respect from me. Respect for one another.

I am also grateful for the majority of adults in my school who show that respect to the students and to one another.

I am sad to see how easy it is for me to lose sight of those students and adults when confronted too often with the lack of respect shown by a few.

1 comment:

Dahlia said...

I often get overwhelmed by the "frustrators" also...though we know that it is our overall system that allows/creates these behaviors.

We somehow have to keep reminding ourselves that our job is even more important in the face of these threats to classes full of respect.

Your students have you and their class community to shield them from the dull but strong sword of modern education reform. Now we have to make them the champions of their own cause. That is what keeps me going when I want to scream at the grownups.

I am so glad you are an educator!!