being a teacher

Damages Done

I have been thinking a lot about damages lately, and particularly the damages we sometimes inflict on our students unintentionally.  Those things we think we are doing for the right reasons or because someone told us we had to and how they end up hurting the very kids we are trying to help.  Things such as testing, report cards, missing recess, and other work-ethic creating tasks.  Or what about the words of wisdom we share with our students when we discipline?  Or the call out of a kid in front of the whole room because they weren’t paying enough attention when we wanted them to?  Rewards or honor roll to make sure some kids feel valued while others do not?  Those damages that we don’t think much of but that over time are sure to change the kid somehow.  Those are the damages I ponder.

In the end, I think back to the kindergartners that come into our lives the first day of school and I wonder what we do to those kids?  How do some of them turn into troubled adults when they started out alright?  What part do we have in the mess that is created? How much damage do we do fooled by good intentions?  I don’t have the answer but it is making me think.

2 thoughts on “Damages Done”

  1. As I'm starting my student teaching, that is one of my biggest fears. Especially since it seems like there is so much that I don't know. We've spent several quarters discussing all the fundamentals of education, but the real classroom seems to function so differntly from everything we've been talking about. I'm not sure where the connection between the 'ideal' and 'real' is, and how much damage I'll do while I'm trying to find it.

  2. Hi Margie, That fear is totally normal and is something I still have every single day. That is how you know that teaching means something to you. Also, knowing that you don't know a lot is a blessing and a curse, it propels you forward to learn more. ANd those kids are pretty resilient, so make sure you listen to yourself and trust yourself as well when you get out into your classroom. It does get easier but never less scary.

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