There’s a stranger in my room today. She does not know me, and I do not know her. She does not know my kids, and they do not know her. She is there. Has to be. Gotta have someone in the room in my absence. So, she is there. But she is not a part. Nothing against her. She seems a nice lady. But she is a stranger in our world, and to her, I imagine, our world will seem strange, too. If she did not have to be there, I would ask her not to be there. The kids do not need her. Half the time, I don’t think they need me. And though it is against the rules, I believe, I trust that my kids would do just fine without a sub today. I believe, I trust that learning would happen, that chaos would not ensue. I believe, I trust that they could more readily steer the ship without her. I believe. I trust.
Recently, Aussie teacher extraordinaire and friend Down Under Abe Moore shared a post about the necessity of trust in the classroom, emphasizing the power that comes from our trusting the kids (Trust).
“Trust is a powerful but underutilized tool in schools. In my experience, showing genuine trust in students is almost always rewarded. Maybe not immediately, but wait long enough, trust long enough, it will happen. I used to tell students to “trust me”, that I knew what was best for them and their learning. But I had it backwards, I needed to trust them, I needed to let go of the controls and let them fly for a while. I am a helicopter teacher no longer.”
As Abe sagely suggests, I am letting my kids fly today. They are not alone; there is an adult in the room–to keep them tethered, lest they fly too close to the sun, but I trust, I believe that the tether is unnecessary. They are able flyers. And they will live into the trust that I have placed in them. And the sun cannot melt that which shines brighter.
Of course, to trust, we have to let go. So, yesterday, as I was sharing that I would be absent today, I floated the question about having Smiles and Frowns in my absence. One might have thought that I suggested they not breathe while I was gone.
“Not an option, Sy. We have to have Smiles and Frowns.”
“What? How could we start without Smiles and Frowns.”
“No. We ARE having Smiles and Frowns tomorrow. Period.”
“Okay,” I replied. “But somebody will have to…”
“Sy, we got this.”
“Yes. Yes, I suppose you do,” I smiled. And I left it at that. In my sub notes I simply put that the kids would lead the first five minutes with Smiles and Frowns. I trust, I believe they will. They “got this.”
Along today’s trail we will…
…proudly begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…continue “reading” the movie Life is Beautiful (Italian with English subtitles)
…sadly, not end with a Sappy Sy Ryhme (unless, the kids “got that” too)
Happy Tuesday, all. Wonder what my sub will think today?
Do. Reflect. Do Better.