Helpless & hopeless OR helpful & hopeful

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I am not sure where I stand today.  One of my posts was about THE POWER OF A TEACHER.

I still believe in my power, in our power.  I do believe in the change I can mold, make or model, but I’ll try to make this short and sweet even though there are so many thoughts swirling in my head. I’ll try…

This post will not be my happy shiny smiley usual post.  I am a bit conflicted today.

How much power do we have?  How much power do I have?  I am not talking about being an authority figure, that is not what I mean by power.  I never mean authority nor any sort of intimidating gross power when I say that word power.  I am talking about the power of change.  I am talking about a positive, proactive power to create what I want to see in the world around me. That is my job.  It is our job.

I feel each day I need to be my best self.  I need to be my true self.  I need to live in gratitude and appreciation for all the good around me and love and accept all that occurs through out my day with an open mind and an open heart.  I need to recognize the good, the bad and the ugly, and be present so that others can follow along and maybe feel the way I feel about life…just good.  I feel good.  I need to be my best self for me first and then for my students and any one else I encounter through out my day.  That’s a lot of pressure, but I like it.  I like the pressure to be my best self.  I have little eyes, ears, hearts and minds learning and watching each day.  That is A LOT of pressure, but I really do like it.  It is such a challenge.  It is such an adventure.

I attempt to do this on a daily basis.  I think I do a pretty good job.  But in my short 31 years of life and in my short 9 years of teaching I have learned that there is only so much I can CONTROL.  I teach in an AMAZING school district.  There is no question that my place of work rocks and I could NOT ask for a better environment to grow and learn along with my students and colleagues.  It is a spectacular place.  Thinking about this CONTROL and this POWER for change that I possess, here is (are) my question(s):

What do I do about a student who grows up in a family environment where they are taught to lie and fabricate any story (no matter what) to get what they want?  How much change can I make in that child’s life and do I try when the parent is doing the same to get and manipulate what they want?  Can I help there?  Can I be a change there?  I am not so sure…

What do I do about a student who feels so poorly about themselves because their parent makes them feel that way?  How much change can I make in a child’s life who is so accustomed to negative attention from a parent that they seek it from me?  I don’t give it.  I am only giving love.  But I am not that child’s constant.  I am only there for them 40 minutes per day.  Can I be a change there?  I hope so…

How many times can I model kind, empathetic, sensitive behavior to a group of students who continue to over-dramatize situations just for the sake of drama?  I am lucky enough to know my students for NINE YEARS.  I CAN really truly make change.  But some times I just don’t see it and I am hopeful…or is it hopeless for some of these situations?

Please, please comment!  Get me out of this funk!

Power of a TEACHER

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About weens11

People. People important to you, people unimportant to you cross your life, touch it with love or carelessness and move on. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why you ever came into contact with them. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of remorse and wonder why they had to go away and leave such a gaping hole. Children leave parents, parent leave friends. Acquaintances move on. Friends love and move on. You think of the many who have moved into your hazy memory. You look on those present and wonder. I believe this is all part of a master plan. People move in and out of our lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who ever touched your life, and you are more because of it, and you would be less if they had not touched you. So far this is who I know that I am... PS I am a Spanish teacher (lucky enough to teach grade K-8!) living in the Chicago area, married to a handsome, intelligent and loving man, and I enjoy exercising and any thing that makes me laugh or smile!

4 responses »

  1. I believe you are suffering from the downside of being a hero leader.

    Watch The Dark Knight and see how Batman struggles with living his life and saving Gotham.

    My psych professor says the key to relief of anxiety is exposure.

    Don’t run and hide during your funks…research more techniques…sharpen your saw.

    Funks are times to be reflective so embrace them like you’re doing now.

    Ask the questions to live the experience and know the answer.

    You’re doing what you are supposed to do.

    Why do you think Batman has a cave? Why do you think Batman conceals his identity? Why do all heroes have a weakness?

    It’s not about power. It’s about powerlessness…the kink in your armor. Embrace it.

    Louisa

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  2. Remember, even in the best of gardens there has to be rain and dark clouds. Use us to vent and then the sun will come back out! We can’t appreciate things without seeing the true difficulties that exist

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  3. Wow! I have nothing as profound to say as your two other commentators…but now it’s got me thinking. I do think when we get down we just have to look for new ideas and get motivated again.

    I was going to say that I realize more and more every year how much family life plays a part in a student’s education. Obviously we are influential as teachers but we are only a part of a child’s education along with their family, friends, and society in general. I believe we have to do that best we can with the students we get. We can put our energy into teaching them the best way we know how, or into finding new or more effective ways to try and reach them, but after that we just have to be okay with knowing we aren’t going to mean the world to every child.

    I usually get my students for at least 2 years if not more just like you and I think it is easier to make a connection with them and make more of an impact that way but I’ve also heard from the teachers who get them after me and some of them just don’t do so well. For 4 years I worked with a student and encouraged him to read and he developed some great skills and he was a nice kid in a 1:1 situation but then I heard his girlfriend got pregnant, he got in trouble for selling drugs and dropped out of high school. When I hear that it makes me sad but what more could I have done? I try not to dwell on students like that because I would get really discouraged. I just know I can do the best I can with the students I have right now and hope it does make an impact.

    We have such different populations that we work with but it does still hold true that parents and family does play a large role in shaping who our students are. I try to keep this in mind when working with students and imagine their lives from their perspective. Hope you are out of your funk!!! Maybe you need to be Batwoman for Halloween next year!

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