Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Sayings: What do I Value?




As a first grade teacher, I value turning kindergarteners into second grade readers, writers, mathematicians, and thinkers.  That's understandably essential to the futures of these little people who will one day be the very ones who influence the success of this planet.  I'm torn though, especially because of one little person.  It's difficult to admit, but I will not be able to transform him into the academic student he needs to be for second grade and beyond.  I'll do what I can, but I already know it won't be enough.  My lack of hope for his academic future of course bothers me, but here's where I'm torn.  It doesn't bother me nearly as much as my concern for his future as a caring citizen of society.  I can deal with the fact that he still doesn't know his letters and numbers.  I can't deal with the fact that on a daily basis he doesn't know how to treat others and shows no effort to learn how.  I'm left asking myself, "What do I value?"  As his teacher I will not give up on him academically, but if at the end of the year he walks away with character only, I will consider myself successful.  

(Agree?  Disagree?  I welcome your thoughts.)


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26 comments:

  1. Here's what I know: We can turn out scary smart kids or we can turn out "value-able" citizens who do the right thing, even when nobody's looking. My vote for our future is with the latter! Keep up the heart work, my friend.

    Barbara
    The Corner On Character

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    1. Barbara, I'm voting for the latter too. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    2. Family First opposes the introduction of any emissions trading scheme or 'carbon tax' and believes it would be grossly irresponsible to proceed with such a policy that will involve major changes to the Australian economy without first having a proper, independent enquiry eg a Royal Commission, which was prepared to listen to the many distinguished scientists who disagree with the current 'climate change doctine'.

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  2. I can hear your heart breaking over this little one and his future. :( Character is important and if anyone can reach him with this, it is you! Keep on keeping on and know that this child will remember how you treated him- with respect and caring!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, I sure hope I can reach him. It's not an easy task. Thank you for believing in me.

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  3. He will walk away from your class being a better child, human, and one day adult because of who you are and what you have shown him. One day he will realize this. You are amazing Tammy.
    Tammy
    First Grade @ Storybook Cafe
    dtklinger@gmail.com

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    1. Tammy, I sure do hope that the day comes when all that he's heard about character in my class makes a difference in his life. Thank you.

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  4. Ooh, I hear you. It's upsetting when we feel like we can't help our kids as much as we'd like. But like Tammy said above, he'll walk out of your class a better person. Just keep doing what you do!

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

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    1. Thank you Barb. I do so want him to leave my room a changed and better person. It's not always easy to see in the moment. Like you said, I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

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  5. Oh Tammy. I just had to get on and check out your Saturday saying today and I am so glad I did. I also have 1 kiddo who is testing me this year. A modified behavior plan has not produced any positive results...not sure what the next step is... I'm tired and exhausted, spending my days focusing much of my time and energy on this 1 child. Many days I feel guilty for allowing the situation to rob me of my joy of teaching and for what feels like neglecting my other students... I keep reminding myself why I teach...and need to remember what I value.

    Thanks for the post. The Lord used it to encourage me. :-)

    Crystal
    Teaching Little Miracles

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    1. Crystal, thank you for leaving your thoughts with me today. I'm sorry to hear you're in a similar situation. It's easy to feel drained and frustrated. I pray you find wisdom for the next step. I need some myself. (Thank you God for using my blog to encourage Cyrstal.)

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  6. Good luck with your little one. Is he a special education student (learning disability) or maybe in the future since it's so hard to determine that when they're younger. Good luck and I agree that heart work is a strong basis for a good future. Love your blog and your saying. I just started following you.

    ?Resource Room Rules

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    1. Jacqui, he isn't in special education yet but most likely will be. I don't think academics will ever be easy for him, but I sure do hope character will be. Thanks for following along.

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  7. Tammy, we have a lot in common here! Character Building is my focus. The home environment is what kills me. Unsupported, dysfunctional, scary. I think you and I both have our work cut out for us this year, but know that somewhere inside that child is a beacon of hope that you will keep burning bright all year!
    HUGS,
    Julie

    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

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    1. Julie, I find that the longer I teach, the more character is interwoven into practically every other sentence it seems. Like you said, the home environment is scary. Thanks for the encouragement today!

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  8. Ditto! Sometimes academics are not the most important for everyone.

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  9. As a second grade teacher I thank you. Even though I may never have your students, teaching character is what makes our world a better place! :)
    Hilary
    Second Grade is Out of this World

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    1. Hilary, I thank you as well for coming by and leaving a comment. I agree that it's all about character.

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  10. Sometimes my friend, we leave seeds, and we may never know when they germinate and blossom because we each have our special "growing" time. But if I know this, you have made a difference in his life. He doesn't know it yet; and you may never have a chance to see it,bBut I have no doubts he will blossom with the rich fertile ground you have given him.

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    1. Marie, this is a good point. I do hope that the seeds are planted nice and deep.

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  11. Well said, friend! I have some students who are very bright academically but who need to learn how to use this gift to be kind helpful members of my classroom community and then the world! I've been preaching doing what is right because it's right and not because someone is looking!
    I love your Saturday Sayings...Thank you for your inspiration.
    Jenny
    Owl Things First!

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    1. Jenny, I love what you preach. I like to say the same thing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts too. I enjoy hearing from you!

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  12. Touching the heart is part of the art of teaching. There is quite a bit of emphasis on the science of teaching: we measure, assess, report, etc. The scientific aspects are easy to see, the heart connections are harder to measure.

    But we know how strong and deep those connections are, don't we? As the classroom teacher, you spend hours with your students. Every day, I spend time thinking of my students, praying for them, planning for their futures. Perhaps you will see a strengthening in your student's academic progress as you continue to seek out his heart and soul.

    :-)major hugs, Chrissy
    ReadWriteSing

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    1. Chrissy, thank you for your very sweet thoughts. I appreciate you and your comments here on my blog. :)

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