Thursday, September 4, 2008

All you need is love...

I have a kiddo who doesn't have behavior problems, but certainly was on my radar as someone who needed more reminders than others. I wasn't sure how to address it early on and opted for the fair-and-consistent method (my standard). I consistently expected her to follow our rules and when she didn't, she faced our classroom consequences. This didn't work very well... she'd have great days and many more not-so-great days. Her moods seemed to swing wildly from way high to way low.

Then I was filled in on her family background. Horrible. Just horrible. Horrible doesn't even describe what this poor thing has been through in just the few years she's been alive.

So I thought about what home must be like and if I were in her shoes how I would want my teacher to treat me. I had to realize that it's all negative at home. Every bit of it.

I decided I needed to smother this kiddo in love. From the minute she walked through the door to the minute she walked out I ignored the bad behavior and praised the good behavior. And guess what? Dur, there wasn't much bad behavior. There was over the top great behavior with amazing extras. She wrote a book - A BOOK! - in Writing Workshop. She wrote another book in CHOICE TIME. Most kids clamor for housekeeping or blocks and this one chose to write and she wrote a book on how she loves me.

I almost burst into tears.

I'll always be that fair-and-consistent teacher, it's the way I am programmed, but she helped me realize that it doesn't work for everyone, and sometimes all you need is love (everyone sing along!)

2 comments:

Snippety Gibbet said...

That was touching. I'm always glad to have a reminder that kids often act out for a reason beyond what I might think.

kiri8 said...

Wow. Thank you. I've been having troubles with two of my boys, and I think there are some really awful experiences in their histories....Your story gives me a lot of hope, and a great way to handle my situation.