Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Turn It Around

This morning my student teacher and I changed all the seats around in the classroom. We were down right giddy as we waited for the students to come in. We both both recollected about times when we were in school that the teacher "rearranged" the seating chart. I always loved getting a new seat. It meant I was getting to move away from people who were starting to annoy me and hopefully get closer to someone who I liked.

Now that I am a teacher I realize that the main reason teachers rearrange is because there is too much chaos going on somewhere in the room and it needs to be busted up. Which was not necessarily the case in my room, (wink, wink) but they needed a fresh perspective.

One student in particular was NOT happy with the seat that was assigned. Instantly disbelief, shock, and dismay took over. The usual smiling face that adorns this student turned as sour as freshly squeezed lemon! I was a bit surprised at this reaction. We gave each seat assignment a lot of thought and believed that everyone would be happy. Apparently we were dead wrong about this one.

I called the student over and we began to chat. I listened to the concerns because I like for ms students to feel that they have a voice. I want to validate them and their opinions early on in life so that when they are older they will not be afraid to speak up for themselves. That does not mean that they will always get what they want with me, but I will always listen.

As I listened to the concerns of this child, I realized they were valid, but for the next few weeks, toughing it out was gonna have to be the solution. I waved my magic teacher wand over the head of this frowning face and assured the worried soul that I would monitor the situation and adjust if needed. I tried really hard to get that frowny face flipped back upright so the day would go more pleasant, but I could not get it to budge.

For about two hours the bottom lip was out, the eyes were droopy, and the arms were folded in pure disgust. Then, as if my magic wand had somehow worked, the face brightened, the eyes sparkled like the stars and a fresh attitude set in. As I noticed the change take place right before my eyes, I had to applaud the effort I had seen. I must admit that I over did it just a bit as I poured out my praise at this attitude adjustment. "What an awesome job at turning it around!!!" I said in the most excited "teachery" voice I could. The face continued to beam and the famous dimples made an appearance. The day proceeded without a hitch; crisis diverted and peace abounded!

After I pondered on the incident a bit, I attempted to glean a lesson from my students as I often do. This time the lesson was clear... Don't stay in a funk, turn it around!

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