being a teacher, hidden rules, listen, Student-centered

Sometimes We Have to Break Our Rules

image from icanread

It’s 3:40 AM and Ida is inconsolable.  My normally calm, happy baby just will not stop crying; she is clearly miserable.  I have tried everything in the baby books; swaddling, ssshhing, feeding, rocking, singing, pacifier, but nothing, nothing works besides holding her in my arms.  So I do what I had promised myself not to do this time around, fall asleep with her on my chest, and finally we both get some much needed rest.

Why do I share this story?  Because sometimes doing the thing we had promised we would never do is exactly what we need to do in our classrooms to progress.  Sometimes we have to go against what we have read, go against what we have thought we would do, and simply figure out how we can help a child.  Because when that child clearly has needs we are not fulfilling and we stumble across some idea, or we realize that our procedures and policies simply do not work, well then, we have to break those rules.

In the end; helping all children succeed is what we were put into our classrooms for.  Even if that means sometimes doing things we never thought we would do.  And I am ok with that.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes We Have to Break Our Rules”

  1. Pernille. Yes! How I relate to this . . . starting with all of the things I did that I thought I would not do with my own newborn twins. And yes, many involved sleep. And all was okay and they felt loved and secure (I could see this through my very sleep deprived eyes) But this philosophy absolutely speaks to the way we do things in our classroom. Best practice is only best if it "fits" a child. I have lots of exceptions because when you start with the child, they often reveal another "best." I love that you took a poor sleep night to reflect on this and write this important reminder for us all.

  2. Think about it! I and most others routinely advise students that in their efforts, there IS a correct answer BUT we will never know what it is – because of uncertainty, lack of experience (no matter how much we have), lack of information (no matter how much we have) …So, as with raising a child, when we seek to facilitate effective learning for our students, what we KNOW is that we want to help ALL students. Sometimes, when our experience and information aren't enough, we have to break the rules …

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