Thinking about the #kinderchat summer blogging challenge, question 6, has been interesting. This question asks:"If we're honest, we all have days when, for any number of reasons (lack of sleep, family issues, minor illness, idiopathic crankiness...) we are just not at our best. There are days when, in any other line of work, we would probably call in sick, but we don't because we know the impact of our absence is so great. What are your survival tips and tricks to get yourself and your students through those days in one piece? Special supplies to keep on hand? Treats that get you through? Lifesaving lessons or activities?"
This is something I admit I was not the best at my first year of teaching. All too often I let the frustrations and isolation get to me and as a result, the entire class ended up having not the greatest days. Then I stopped and reflected and over time have grown into a better teacher. With it, the ability to seek out support to avoid the isolation and strategies to keep going past the frustrations.
I live my life with the mission of being proactive, rather than reactive and this extends into my work with children and families. This means that I work with the children and adults in the classroom (home) community to create and maintain a strong sense of community and relationships at the beginning of our time together. It's my hope that by establishing these relationships and rituals early that the bad days become minimal.
In all reality, however, I know that not every day will be the best day. There will be those days in which the Chicago winter forces us inside all day, when school photo days interrupts our peaceful existence, or when members of our community are just out of sorts (it happens, human emotions are meant to fluctuate). It is in those moments that I personally rely on large amounts of diet soda and the support of others.
In the classroom (homes), there are a few fallbacks, however, that keep the children and myself going forward:
*Using the tables, chairs, cubbies, hallways, etc to create obstacles for children to climb through/on/over.
*Blowing bubbles indoors.
*Dancing and yoga.
*Books on tape.
*Indoor snowball fights with yarn balls.
*Shaving cream on tables.
*Attempting to pull (clean) plungers from the floor or walls. (Try it, it's amazing!)
And of course, there's always being honest. I have no problem telling my children when I have a migraine or the flu. Children have bigger hearts than adults and are amazing at adjusting themselves when the adults (children) that they love are not at their best.
Finally, forgiveness. These days happen. Forgive yourself and move on so that tomorrow is a better day.