This week was a busy one at school. We had some follow up training, a visit from our superintendent, parent teacher night, and a wet and chilly fire drill. It sounds strange that I would add fire drill to a busy week, but while necessary, sometimes fire drills can set off a class and you have to work a little to bring everyone back in focus.
What I want to celebrate is some empathy my students showed this week. I have struggled with some class management with a class this semester, to the point where I am constantly on my toes. One day I was delayed getting to class immediately as I was needed to be an eye, ear, and shoulder for someone having a difficult time. I felt I couldn’t leave this person at that exact moment and thus, was a few minutes late to class. This was not the class I would want “alone” (other teachers were nearby and helped watch) when having those rare moments when I’m not prompt.
Upon my return, the obvious questions were asked, “where were you miss?” I had to settle everyone down, get things ordered and make sure supplies were ready to go. I briefly (and vaguely ) explained that sometimes you need to show empathy to people; listen and show you care. I know I have a responsibility to be here for you on time, but sometimes you also need to stop and show someone caring in a time of need. We then went into a short discussion of times when they may have talked with a friend or family member who needed them, but also caused them to miss something or be late or somehow inconvenience someone else. They seemed to understand pretty quickly and since I’m almost always there and ready to go, I think they realized it must have been important for me to finish the business I was doing. They settled in and we got to work.
That is what I’m celebrating this week: showing caring, understanding, and the ability to focus when a disruption occurs. It’s not from the textbook, but it does show humanity.