So today was the first day of school. Not off to the greatest start as I had hoped. But once to school in my element (even though its a new school building, its still my element) I was better. I expected the first day to be chaos so no lesson plans, etc. I had things I wanted to do with my classes, but knew there was no way of knowing how long we would be in each class. So today I decided will be a day for me to watch the natural interaction of these kids.
Kids are kids. There personality is engraved into their little brains. As I watched today I saw kids almost crawl into shells because they are shy, I saw 2 boys in one class sit on their feet – like a frog, one twist parts of his afro into perfect little twist all over his head. I had 5 push past me to get into my classroom. One to move 4 times at lunch to sit by different people. It was so interesting watching these kids’ small idiosyncrasies.
How many times do we tell students, “speak up,” “get your feet out of desks,” “leave your hair alone,” “stay in one seat,” etc, etc? By doing that we are taking what is comfortable and trying to change it. Why on Earth are we trying to change kids?! Now making them be polite and courteous is understandable, you notice I did not say pushing past me was OK. I have been guilty of this so many times as well. Why?
Nothing makes me more upset that another adult telling me they do not like the way I do things and I should change them. Especially if it is there opinion. I am a weird person, I do like to joke around, giggle, and say off the wall things. That is me. I work with some pretty strange people, one is making animal noises down the hall right now, (yeah I know some of you read this haha Tink costume) really if you sit back and look at the other 6th grade teachers I work with, we are a very odd group. No way you would not like us! OK maybe and we annoy the mess out of each other in a brother/sister way. We are all different and have never told any one to be this way or that way. So it shocks me when someone points out something about me they don’t like. I am sure you would feel the same way.
So lets not do that to our kids. Your classroom (my classroom) needs to be the safe environment where they can be themselves and as long as that does not hurt anyone’s learning, it is OK. Kids need to be themselves to be comfortable enough to learn. Do not try to change them! Teach them!