You may have figured out by now that I am not a fan of Mondays. This morning, however, I felt different. I was happy. I was wearing jeans (a teacher appreciation gift from our administrators). I had a bowl of Kashi Autumn Harvest cereal with fresh fruit and Almond Breeze milk for breakfast. I was early to work. The day seemed to be shaping up to be a pretty good one!
Then it happened.
The one tiny little mood buster that almost ruined everything.
You see, sometimes, very simple words can be oh, so very powerful. This is why it is very important to think carefully before you speak, and to always err on the side of caution. Words can not be taken back. They can hurt you. The old sticks and stones adage is bogus.
As a teacher, it is necessary, on occasion, to call parents to let them know when their child is misbehaving, or doing poorly in school. No one wants to hear this news, and very few teachers enjoy sharing it. It’s just not fun.
Well, in my very short phone call to a parent, I was told that I just don’t understand kids, because I do not have any children of my own. Rather than agreeing to help me resolve the issue, this parent, maybe unknowingly, insulted me as a professional.
This woman may not have meant what she said. She was speaking in the moment. She was upset that her child wasn’t doing well, and felt that she was doing the best she knew how.
I know that I shouldn’t let such simple things as words get me down or ruin my day, but sometimes it just happens. Her words kept playing over and over in my mind. What if one day, when Larry and I are ready to start a family, we are unable to conceive? Would I then never truly be a good teacher?
I know that I do understand children. I have four younger brothers and countless cousins. I have been babysitting since I was old enough to be left alone. I have been in the classroom since my junior year of high school. I have worked in preschools and summer camps. I have seven years of experience teaching elementary school, not counting student teaching and practicums. I have spent hours and hours and hours teaching and learning with children. Children are my life.
I’m not going to keep dwelling on words that were spoken in the past. I know the truth. I’m not even going to hold a grudge. But I am going to take time to reflect upon the lesson that can be learned here.
Be careful with your words. Think before you speak. You never know how far your words will travel. You never know how harmful your words may really be and what a lasting impact they may have.
I leave you with these final words of wisdom:
Be “as good as the spring itself,” and bring warmth and compassion to all those you encounter.