08 May 2013

Patience and Apologies

I recently participated in some religious service when I relearned a valuable lesson in making sure that I was being kind with others no matter what was happening around me.

I was assisted by an older gentleman who was obviously struggling with his assignment of helping as well as with some health issues and I had a major attitude problem. After being bothered and upset I realized I was missing the whole point of the religious service and I needed to step back and calm down. I needed to be more patient. Once I calmed down and was able to recognize the service this man was giving, the rest of the time that morning was so much nicer and so much more enjoyable.

I often wonder if I'm doing the same thing with my students at school. Am I being impatient with them and treating them poorly because they don't necessarily want to be at school anymore? Do I always want to be at school? We need to make sure we give our kids a break every once in a while because they are as real of people as we are, just a little (lot) younger.

John Spencer of Education Rethink recently wrote about losing patience and yelling at his students and then feeling incredibly bad about it. He then goes on to say that the next day he had a number of important educational people (my words not his) recognize his ability to teach and present and he felt vindicated in his role as a good teacher (again, my words not his). Even though he messed up the day before and lost his cool, he's not a bad person, nor are his students bad kids, they were all just people having a bad day. The most important part of this lesson, he apologized to the students and knew that they would forgive him (or at least hoped they would). What an incredible example of a wonderful human being! Thanks John for the being a role model of what an exceptional teacher should be.

We need to remember the importance of being patient with those around us because we are the only person in the world who can decide what kind of say we are going to have. I know patience is one of the areas I struggle with the most as a teacher, especially this late in the year!

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