I had a moment this week. I discovered I'm not perfect. I know...you are really surprised.
I haven't discovered the best key to this group of kids - keeping them engaged in our group learning time. This week two kids were cutting up (and doing some things that I really thought was out of line). So, I said, "Stop." Not yelling but in a louder voice than I usually use. And in a sharper tone than I usually use.
And I immediately felt like I'd failed as a teacher. I want to be encouraging and firm. Kind and consistent. Understanding but guiding. And I was louder and sharper instead.
Mr. Rogers was always calm and kind. Mary Poppins always knew what to do. I read about the wonderful bloggers/teachers online and think that they always seem in control and "perfect." And I'm not. I read about parents and teachers that struggle with kids and all kinds of needs and they seems to triumph. And I don't.
Isn't it easy to beat yourself up when you don't respond as you'd hope. You tell yourself that Tom or Donna or Jenny or Deborah or Matt or Greg or Amy or Ayn or Jessi or ______ would never act that way. He or she is always calm and nurturing, firm and guiding. And you aren't. But, then again, I think everyone is not perfect sometime. In fact, I read in a blog post once that it's dangerous to compare yourself to your online friends. Online people tend to present their best selves. We can't compete with anyone's best self. And they can't compete with our best selves either. (I think Jon Acuff said this but I couldn't find it when I looked for it.)
No, I'm not perfect. And I've always known that. But I am always trying. And the kids let me sometimes act in a "not perfect" way and still care about me. And I let them act in not perfect ways and still care about them, too.
And - maybe together - we can shave off those rough edges and learn how to work and live together.