Saturday, April 21, 2012
I do not consider myself a mean person. In fact, I identify myself as a pretty empathetic, kind person. Never has my blood boiled as much as it has during teaching. I did a mean, mean thing to a student yesterday. I let my anger get the best of me and I am not proud of it. In fact, I can't stop thinking about it. EC has a mind of her own and loves to be creative and independent. I have so much love for her and have grown to understand, even appreciate, her need to clean, help, and put her own creative spin on activities. Yesterday, we were enjoying choice time like we always do on Friday afternoons, and Estefania was at the coloring station. She began cutting out her drawings and I asked her to put her scissors away because it was time to color, not cut. She gave me the puppy dog eyes and the "Pleeease" and I told her no, put them away because it was almost the end of the day and last time we used scissors there were too many scraps. She put the scissors away, then got them back out 5 mins later. I gave her a last warning, and then caught her with the scissors AGAIN after that. I walked as calmly as possible over to her, took her paper, and I RIPPED UP the pigs she had been cutting. I RIPPED THEM. I am a horrible, no-good, mean teacher. She looked sheepish at first, and I quietly told her that this was the consequence of not listening...she wouldn't get to keep her work. I think this is a logical consequence, however, since it was out of anger and unexpected, it left me with this icky feeling. EC burst into uncontrollable tears. I apologized to her for unnecessarily ripping her picture, and I told her mom what happened, and I feel a little better about it today, but I can't help feeling like I am a mean, ruthless teacher. How did I let the anger get the best of me? I so often tell my students to take deep breaths, to give themselves a break, to do all these things when they feel they can't control their anger..I need to remember all of my actions matter, and I need to model kindness and fairness as much as possible. I faltered. I can only hope EC remembers the good things about first grade, too, and not that her teacher is a horrible meanie-head.