Today was the last day of school before Fall Break. Honestly, I was pretty much in survival mode. My focus was on getting to the end of the day. And I almost missed a small victory.
One particular third-grade class has been a challenge. I’ve had a difficult time connecting with some of the personalities in this group. And I’ve allowed this difficulty to turn into frustration on several occasions.
The classroom teacher for this group is awesome! She is patient, kind, and supportive. She has witnessed my frustration on several occasions. And yet, also recognized my desire to connect with the students. Today’s success began with her.
Last week she mentioned a student’s interest in rapping. There had been some impromptu rapping going on in their class. This knowledge opened the door, giving me a way to connect with one friend in particular.
I asked this student to share in class. His initial response was one of hesitation. He did not share that day but said he would keep working. At least the mood was lighter. I was able to relax and have fun, creating a silly rap myself.
My name’s Mrs. Morris, and I like to play
The piano every single day
I love you guys, but you drive me crazy
Especially on the days when you act lazy
Yes, I know a career in rap is not for me. However, my students and I had a much-needed laugh. 🙂
Fast forward to today. Students were talking about rapping when they walked through my door. Two students got up to share their rhymes in front of the class. They acted silly and embarrassed, but they did it! The one student I was hoping to reach? Still no rap.
When class was over, I encouraged him to keep working and bring what he had written to class next time. I also reminded him that it didn’t need to be finished or perfect. I tried to honestly express my interest in what he had created.
And that’s when the victory occurred. No, I did not hear the rap. I did, however, hear about his other interests. Suddenly, he was telling me about things he had done as a kid. He was proud of these things and eager to share.
Our conversation was brief. But our conversation was positive. It was the first time this student talked to me as a person. And possibly the first time I truly listened.
During the few minutes between classes, I quietly celebrated.
I have more work to do. I’m sure there will still be moments of frustration. But in between those moments, I will remind myself to look for similar successes. Small victories that are truly worth celebrating!