Meeting My Students

My first meeting with my students was something that I was excited for and dreading all at the same time.  Questions like, Will they like me?  How will they react to me?  How will I find ways to relate to these kids? ran through my head.  As soon as I met my 5 boys and 4 girls, I was relieved.  Although these kids have been through a lot in their short lives, their big eyes and their smiles seem to overpower it all.  A significant percentage of students have been sexually abused or molested.  A horrific statistic that makes one wonder, how can these kids even trust adults?  As a teacher, we want our students to be good listeners, to follow directions, etc., but if they do not have any of these kinds of structures in their home lives, can we expect them to meet those expectations in school?  Patience seems to be the key for me and my students’ success.  Even though I may want to yell and scream, when they are constantly in and out of their seats, talking when I am, fighting and hitting each other over a game, I have to remember where these kids are coming from and try to consider what they know from home.  Moms and dads are sometimes so drunk at home that they may have sex right in front of the kids.  No wonder they curse and know seemingly too much in terms of sex for just being 5 and 6 year olds.  That’s what they know!  I have to try to understand that and take one day at a time with these kids.  If I show them unconditional love, just a little bit each day, show them I won’t hurt them, I won’t yell at them, but that I am there for them to learn, those relationships will be that more concrete at the end of these four months.

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