It Shouldn’t Be Like This
Recently I saw a video about a little boy who was on his way to school. He was happy and enthusiastic as he greeted the bus driver, the principal, and his teacher. But they didn’t seem to notice. They didn’t realize that each interaction would leave a negative impression on this child and have an impact on his day. Fortunately, the video showed another scenario, children being greeted by the principal and teacher with enthusiasm and hugs. That’s the way to begin a day. Unfortunately, the first depiction is often the reality that our children experience, from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night. It shouldn’t be like this.
The little boy makes some poignant observations. He says, “School is hard enough. This kind of stuff makes it even harder. If this is education, we are in trouble. Why would you want to silence us? It doesn’t have to be this way.” NO IT DOESN’T!
This video made me remember an incident that happened about twenty years ago. While driving to school one morning I heard a story about onion soup. It was so funny that I wanted to share it with my students, a group of children with learning and emotional issues. I don’t remember the story, but I do remember what happened when I met the children from the bus. I told them not to go to their lockers first, but to go right into the classroom. I had something to tell them. I was trying hard not to burst out laughing. I remember one student saying, “Here she goes again,” because laughter was a frequent visitor in our classroom.
As soon as the children were in the room, I closed the door and started laughing. I can still see their faces as they started to laugh with me. When I finally was able to tell them the story about onion soup, they erupted into gales of laughter. After we calmed down, they went to their lockers with huge smiles on their faces and we were able to begin our day of learning. What a great way to start a day…with laughter and love.
For those of us who have decided to be parents or teachers and devote years of our lives in the world of children, we have chosen a precious responsibility. Financial rewards will never equal the eternal rewards we will reap if we do this right. Our children are a gift and how we nurture them and protect them will determine their destiny…a shining light or a star that shatters and dies. The decision we have made requires an endless capacity for kindness, creativity, patience, forgiveness, endurance, and love. When we embody these qualities consistently, we teach our children by our words and by our example.
When we encounter our children at home, in school, on the playground or anywhere, remember they are not finished yet. How they finish depends greatly upon how we nurture them. They are fragile and can be broken. Handle with care. Handle with care.