He walked away, tears in his eyes, shoulders down. I called out his name but he kept on walking, mumbling, “Ill do it…”
I went home, knew what I had to do the next day, and yet, that walk away from me really made me remember.
Before I tell a student what they need to do right now, remember they are someone’s child.
Before I tell a child that their best could be better, remember that they are someone’s child.
Before I raise my voice, before I yell for attention, before I call out a student for not doing what they are supposed to be doing, remember; they are someone’s child.
Before I tell a student that life outside of school may be tough but they still need to focus, remember; they are someone’s child. And that someone may be trying their hardest to keep an illusion of normalcy going, but that child knows better.
Before I lecture, remember.
Before I punish, remember.
Before I pull aside.
Before I make an example.
Before I don’t listen to the whole story.
They are someone’s child and they deserve to be treated that way.
And that boy with the tears, I apologized the next day. Not for the expectations but for the way they had been said. I am not perfect, I forget too, that before I am a teacher I am a mother, and that child in front of me could be mine. So treat them as such.
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” can be pre-bought now from Powerful Learning Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.