Friday, March 27, 2009

Compassion...slice of life

So many times I forget that I work with a very precious commodity. Children. Today, I was able to focus on children and not teaching standards, not pushing a test, not focusing on results. Just letting a kid be who they are. We had a music program and one of my students who often pushes my buttons was not feeling well. He doesn't mean to. Some days, I've just had it and it's tough to be patient and help explain the social norms that others seem to understand.

A brass quintet was playing and I, as usual, had him sitting by me. One other student had to leave which caused an open space next to him. He laid down on the bleacher and proceeded to fall asleep. Asleep. In a gymnasium filled with hundreds of kids clapping and yelling. Obviously, he wasn't feeling well. I kept waiting for him to begin to fall off the bleacher. When that motion began, I pulled him over, laid his sweatshirt in my lap, and allowed him to sleep on my lap. When the quintet was wrapping up, he woke up (about 30 minutes), having left some slobber on my jeans.

Today, he wasn't a boy who pushes my buttons. He was a child who just wanted to sleep and wasn't feeling well. Today, I was able to look past the frustration and give him what he needed. It was a slice of life that I need to remember when the frustrating moments happen in remember, that first and foremost, he's a kid.

1 comment:

Letterpress said...

This was a lovely slice. I liked that the post told about the downs as well as the ups--as one of my writer friends says--keeping it real.

Sometimes we can surprise ourselves with the compassion we find for those students/children who drive us up the wall. Somehow we occasionally see past the behavior and into the heart--even if the owner is taking a nap on your jeans.

I loved this not only for the message of kindness and tolerance, but also because your details and descriptions made me feel as if I was there.