Friday, May 30, 2008
Reflections at The End of Another School Year
Yesterday was my last day teaching and now we are (finally!) on summer break. It was pretty crazy and we simply let the kids party all day (which is more tiring to teachers than when we are learning - go figure!). At the end of the day I had to face saying a permanent goodbye to half of my class, those who are moving on to a new location in the fall. I hate this part every year. I didn't think I would miss my "teacher testers" (class trouble-makers), but you know, I think I will. I find it interesting that those who are hardest to deal with are usually the most loving overall towards their teachers. They would come in all excited in the mornings, wanting to give me a big hug and tell me about anything special they might have done between the time I had sent them home and they returned, as opposed to my well behaved children who calmly walk in and could care less for the teacher's notice. Funny, huh? Anyway, as I spent some time with a parent picking up his child yesterday afternoon (a tester child), I noticed that he kept dropping hints that referred to his wife being by herself and having to care for their four children on her own. The light began to dawn and I began to think quickly of a tactful way to ask if they were separating. Sure enough, the dad is moving to another part of this area. Suddenly I felt a rush of sympathy for my little problem student. No wonder he had been so difficult this year. All the turmoil and frustrations he had witnessed at home influenced his behaviour when he was me. He was only trying to express his hurt and confusion. If I could only take back our spring semester, I would have be a more understanding, patient teacher with him. I would have spent more one-on-one time with him, hugged him more often and tried to make school time a joy for him, as it must have been the one stable event in his unstable life. One thing I have learned is to not just assume that the child is at fault for their behaviour, but to try and understand if there is more at work than what I can see. I do sincerely regret my missed opportunities with that little boy. God help me to learn from the mistakes that he graciously shows me I have made.