You’ve got mail, no delivery! Boxes

Posted by Brenda Yoho

My first classroom! I am so excited! Everything is going to be great. All the decorations are up, books on the desk, classroom schedule posted, desks arranged and now I am ready for the children to arrive!

I am nervous about my teaching. The teacher across the hall was one of my teachers in school. All of the teachers around me have been working for a long time. I am new to this! I will need help, I am sure!

Students arrive! I begin to get to know everyone. I gather all the work for the day and have accumulated a big stack of papers to grade. The day went so fast, but it was full of learning!

My former teacher walks in, and he begins to talk to me.

“I see you have a stack of papers there to grade. I want to share with you a little advice and a story if I can. You see, there is no need to grade every single piece of paper or assignment. Only select a few pieces to capture what students are capable of doing.”

Did you know that the UPS delivery truck came this morning to deliver boxes to all of our classrooms?”

Umm, no

Yes, they were in your classroom all day! You called them, Justin, Beth, Jacob, Kristin and all the other names. Some of the boxes came in perfect shape and you don't really have to do a thing to them and they will be just fine. Several came with some dents in their boxes, and you will have to work on those to get them back into shape. A few came in boxes that were crushed. No matter what you do, there is not enough tape to get them back into shape.”

“What I am trying to tell you is you only have so many hours in the day. You cannot spend your time trying to fix things you cannot fix. If you do, you will loose the ones who need you.”

I hope you had a great first day! I will check on you each day. It would help if you did not get discouraged or burned out by trying to save everyone. We will all be here for you.”

I sat at my desk looking at the papers, the desks, and all of the positive things I placed in the classroom. His story was true. I did have some students who were just fine. Several students needed some additional supports I could tell and a handful needed full attention somehow However, I was the teacher for all of them. I needed to find solutions in order to meet their needs.

This is when you pull on the resources of the community. I made connections with some retired folks we called our “Golden Helpers.” I created a schedule with support of social worker time and we worked to meet the needs of All students.

I never want to limit children by placing labels on them, but only labels for needs. We do not all learn, live or achieve the same. Therefore, the same goes for teaching and being an administrator. Many different approaches that work for some! A solution can be found.

Reflecting on my learning experiences in elementary and high school years, I was part of the several delivery boxes group. I had several dents, and it took a few fantastic teachers later in life to get them corrected! Thank you, teachers, for taking care of all children during their times of need!

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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