The Life of a Writer

Thursday, October 3, 2013

SAY IT STRAIGHT



I was in a classroom on Monday  9/30/13 where the teacher told me what a horrible class this was and how I was going to have a horrible morning. I actually was afraid at first.  She took me out to the line on the playground and pointed out the two blind, five autistic, and two emotionally disturbed students. As the two blind kids led us to the classroom, I mentioned that I felt like it was the blind leading the blind. Are we as teachers blind to the real children that are in the classrooms with us?

As we entered, I introduced myself as Ms. Magic.  The children loved it.  We talked about the number one rule that I learned from the sixth grade kids at Field Elementary that started with an R.  They all knew it was RESPECT.  So we talked about that and what it looked like to them. It's interesting I saw them all as the same One--not different. When they came to the rug, or did their work, I didn't see them as their labels.  How would that be respectful of them? Have we lost our own sensitivity as adults to abuse children by labeling them?  Why can't learning be fun?  Why can't we accept each child as a contributing member of the whole no matter how it shows up?  Are we so attached to our test scores and education of the primary subjects that we have forgotten how to laugh and play as we teach?

Personally, I feel communication is the key.  Once we train the children to communicate about their feelings and to be able to express it in a good way then we can move forward.  When the classroom is a safe place for everyone, then they can learn more effectively. If the teachers are under constant pressure from above to produce results, the children can feel this energy. What do they grow up to become? Bullies who are trying to control the others around them by labeling them. This needs to stop.  We are seeing the effects of it in the shootings in our country.

Where do we start to change it? I say with the very young. The time is now to educate our children as they enter school in communication skills which promote wellness, positive self esteem and positive relationships.  What a better way to improve student learning. I have become a Say It Straight Trainer so that I can make a contribution in education. I had the opportunity to work with my second grade students for two years using this program. I found significant changes in the abilities of the students to ask for what they want and to express their feelings. The sameness and differences exercises brought healing between two students who had been upset with each other since kindergarten. The two new boys found other ways to communicate other than fighting and calling each other names.

I can be contacted to conduct the SAY IT STRAIGHT TRAINING  in your child's classroom or for the PTA at your school. We have to start somewhere why not now?

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