Today was a tough pill to swallow. I looked at my kids as a number. As data, as a result of a test.
I can’t remember the last time I did that. Usually I can distinguish between the two. Usually, I can look at the numbers and remember the faces behind them. Today, I saw the lowest point of the year for some of my kids. I was frustrated, took it out on myself and them.
Today, after meeting number who knows how many, I forgot what made me the teacher I am. I lost sight of my end goal.
Kids, they aren’t a number.
They aren’t the SOL score at the end of the year.
They aren’t the machines that can be driven into the ground.
They will mess up.
They will make mistakes.
They will break.
This time of the year, we want to drill, drill, drill.. quiz, quiz, quiz.
We have standards in which are kids need to hit.
We have standards on how we are judged.
But at the end of the day, they are kids, they are people. They need compassion. They need someone to believe in them. They need to be appreciated. They need someone to care for them. I’m glad I caught myself. I saw a picture a kid posted on instagram from the Tides game yesterday. One of my best kids. He’s burnt out, stressed beyond belief. He doesn’t deserve that.
In being so wrapped up in trying to get them ready for a test, I nearly forgot that they just want to be kids. And making them into tiny robots and robbing them of joy isn’t going to make them do better. In fact, it will stress them out more, do more harm than good.
It’s just a test.
They have the rest of their life to get ready for, one test won’t change that.
Tomorrow, I’ll go back in and let them think a bit differently, help them ease their minds, as well as mine. We all get a bit too stressed at this point of the year. Sometimes, you have to take a few steps back to move forward.