Monday, April 23, 2012

That's My Job

Last week I was at the Heart of the Child conference in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. I taught two conferences there - one on intentional teaching and one on taking risks (both teachers and kids). I had a great time there interacting with other children's leaders and teachers.

I found myself saying something in all sessions of both conferences. Something like: "My job as a teacher is to meet the needs of the kids. I need to figure out what they need and what I can do to meet it."

I think that is going to become my mission statement...or life objective...or whatever you want to call it. That's my job description. Find out what the kids need and figure out ways to meet those needs.

When I'm having consistent challenges with a child or group of children, there's a need that is not being met. The issue is not the child or children; it's me. (I've blogged about this before.)

A consistent behavior "problem" or classroom "issue" tells me that something is lacking. That problem or issue is the child's way of communicating with me. He's telling me that he needs something.

What? Maybe attention. Maybe movement. Maybe a different way to participate.

And that's my job. Discover how to connect with the child and with the group.

Oh, we'll still have challenges. After all needs change. I sometimes fail. But we're all learning and growing together. That's all our jobs in the classroom.

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