Friday, October 9, 2009

Teachers Create the Weather

 "I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized"
-Dr. Haim Ginott

Often times early childhood educators set themselves up for a response from a child. How would you react as a if you were in this situation?
These happened quite sometime ago.....
A Kindergarten teacher argued she could teach a very effective lesson on the circulatory system to her class of four and five-year-olds. Being a former nurse, she maintained that she could use her old medical posters along with the preschool curriculum. Reluctantly, the director approved her ideas but questioned how she would make the lessons all work for so young a group of children. The teacher invited her to sit in on the circle time lesson.

Here is how it went;
 "Now class," she explained to further, "if I stood on my head all the blood would run into it and my whole head would turn red, right?"
"Right!" The children nodded in unison like a line of bobble heads.
"Good, so tell me...why do you think when I am standing upright that the blood doesn't run all into my feet."
"I know," blurted one little girl finally, "because cause your feet ain't empty!"

 This happened in my first grade class when I was a little girl; 
The principal walked into the room and my teacher stopped the lesson and asked all of us what we liked best about school. After about two minutes of us all staring at each other I could see little beads of sweat forming on her upper lip...she began to plead with us.
"Come on class there must be something you like about school....anything?"
Finally, Ernesto raised his hand.
"What I like best about school is that we have so many days off."

I heard about this one....
A note was written beside a big basket of juicy red apples at a Catholic School in lunch line at the grade school cafeteria. It read;
Take only ONE, God is watching!
At the end of the cafeteria line was a large plate of assorted cookies. Beside the plate a child had written a note in crayon. It read;
Take all you want, God is watching the apples!

1 comment:

Dan Gurney said...

Dr. Ginott has it right. I can remember walking into the most beautifully decorated classroom I've ever seen. But the teachers was, well, I'm going to be polite: MOODY. Your eyes said it was a welcoming room. Except for the emotional storm clouds swirling around the room and emanating from the teacher.

Conversely, my son's kindergarten room was a physically a chaotic mess, but his teacher was in the saintly realm, cool, calm, collected, unflappable. That kindergarten was almost heaven to be in.