There are times when I completely understand why God gives us one day at a time. That’s all most of us can truly manage!
Mrs. Maurer did not have the best day yesterday. No, I’m not a saint. Yes, I occasionally lose my temper. No, I don’t stomp my feet or yell or throw things. I just seethe inwardly, talk to students, write notes to parents, dole out the necessary discipline, and move desks. Getting students out of the action, away from certain peers, or closer to the work on the board is often a temporary solution to a bad situation. But temporary is an important word. Most children who are able to evoke anger from Mrs. Maurer are going to continue to do so again and to have problems with most of the staff and many of the children they encounter in the near future. I may not be a saint, but I’m pretty tolerant and certainly accustomed to the actions of kindergartners. While my voice and facial expressions may quickly and easily turn stern when needed, it is usually a “bluff”. True anger is rare for me because I try not to raise my blood pressure!
After I got home and had a cup of coffee yesterday I gave some thought to why I had gotten angry. Like most of you I attempt to analyze my actions from time to time in order to improve my future responses. The primary reason for my feelings yesterday comes down to one question: “Why does a child continue bad behavior over and over again despite warnings, discipline, and negative reactions from both parents and teacher?” Frankly, I don’t have a great “wise and wonderful” answer, because it is different for each student. I suppose that is just another reason why I find teaching so fascinating!
The best thing about kindergarten is that we totally embrace the idea of the “do over”! We only live for today and we do the best we can with whatever happens. So today we will have a better day! Today all of my students will try harder and behave better. They will have forgotten yesterday and so will I.