It is a busy time for teachers. Our “to do” baskets are overflowing, kids are getting antsy in anticipation of summer, and every school day brings new fires of some type we have to extinguish. So in order to avoid overload, I suggest we provide our brains with a specific focus to keep us both encouraged and optimistic. Luckily, our porch cat Monty came to visit and helped me find just the right one.
Let me remind you about Monty. He belongs to another family down our street but visits us regularly. At first, he would just stay at the edge of our yard, then he started coming to the porch, and finally allowed our son Micah to pet him. However, Monty is guarded. He lets us pet him and then swats us, rubs up against us and then runs away, begs to be loved on and then won’t let us do it. This has been his pattern for as long as we have known him.
But this week we had a breakthrough. Unsolicited, Monty looked up at me, rolled over, and presented his belly to be scratched. This was huge. There he was, upside down, completely letting his guard down. “How far we have come,” I thought. And there is our focus.
Toward the end of the school year it is common to hyper focus on lack of progress, both behaviorally and academically. However, this can be very discouraging. Instead, I would recommend you do the opposite.
You have kiddos in your classroom who have made a great dealof progress since you started working with them – progress in the form of trust, healthier relationships, more risk-taking, less anxiety, better behavior or academics, etc. Don’t get lost in the “shoulda, coulda, wouldas” or the “but he is sonot ready! Next year’s teachers are going to eat him alive… or vice versa.”
The glass is half full, so make a concerted effort to acknowledge that fact and choose to dwell on how far you have come.