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!)


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.