No less than 5 times a year I am called “mom” by a student. They always seemed embarrassed, but I give them a knowing smile and tell them that happens every year. Plus, I also tell them I am honored by the slip. Would I ever want or expect to take the place of their mom? No, never! However, they sometimes call me mom, and I call them my kids because for those 7 hours a day 5 days a week, I treat them as I would want my own children to be treated. Teaching kids their ABCs is not just limited to what they learn in a book. Each day in the classroom I may do all or any combination of the following ABCs:
Acknowledge of success
Bandage of boo-boo
Celebrate the loss of a tooth
Dissect a disagreement between two friends
Encourage taking a chance
Find a necklace, toy, lunchbox, paper, you name it...
Give a reassuring smile
Help cope with the loss of a pet
Instill a sense of security
Judge a recess race
Keep a promise
Listen to stories of home
Make them feel special
Nod in understanding
Open a lunch container
Put their fears at ease
Quite with a look, and then a silent “Thank you”
Reminders of good manners
Save face if needed (accidents.......)
Talk to them about our families
Use different strategies to engage
Validate their feelings
Wish them good luck in their game that night
eXplain a consequence
Yes, I would love to know what you did for dinner, or at your baseball game, or over the weekend
Zip a coat
That is my job and that is my joy. They are my kids and the school and teachers are my family. The ABCs of life are more than just a grade, a test, or a score. These children are more than just a number, a seat in the class, or a piece of data. They sometimes call me “mom,” and I am proud to call them my kids. It takes a village to raise a child, and I am glad to be a step along that path and a person in that village.
These are points that have been made before and will be made again, but one test score does not a good teacher make.
What would some of your "ABCs" be?