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.

being a teacher, being me, inspiration, listen, students, thank

Those Things We Carry

The shuffled movement, the slight look possibly from the left, a small gesture to be noticed. “Ummm, Mrs. Ripp can I have lunch with you?”. Oh shoot, there goes that extra prep, but yes, absolutely yes, let’s have lunch. Over food the words come tumbling like a bottle with it’s cork pulled. Didn’t even have to ask a question, they just spill out and out, away from this student, this trusting student that needs someone to carry the weight of the world with them. It is not new, not shocking, but every day life, every day fears, every day needs of wanting bigger, better, more. And yet here, it means the world.

We carry those words.

Another morning, a moment, a need for a hug and then a drawing shown. “Do you think I can make it, Mrs. Ripp?.” “Of course, you can, just dream and work toward it,” is what I say but what I think tells more. Work hard, little child, don’t believe those people who will try to steal your dream. Don’t believe those people that tell you you are not smart, that you will not amount to anything. Don’t listen when they make you angry, or when they make you cry. Dream, dream on, dream strong.

We carry those dreams.

At the end of the day, a mad rush, backpacks on, cubbies emptied, and one last “Thank you for coming.” I mean it too, thank you for being here, for sharing your day with me. For sticking with me when my voice got tired, or my explanation made no sense. For listening when I should have been quiet, for raising your hand patiently and waiting your turn even though you were really, really excited. Thank you for laughing, for thinking, for creating, and trying. Thank you for believing and caring, for trusting and loving, because that’s what it is; trust and love and hope and hard work, every single day.

They carry those teachers; us.