Monday, February 18, 2013

The Space Between The Stickers

I have a little boy in my class this year who takes stickers very seriously. ;)
It's very important business.
If you give him a sheet of stickers each one must be used and there is no satisfaction until he has used each and every one. On Valentines Day, I let the kids in my class decorate a makeshift tablecloth made of paper and I gave them all crayons and stickers to work with. As the kids peeled off various heart shaped stickers I began collecting the empty sticker backings to throw them away. After I had cleared most of them off the table and started walking towards the trash can, this particular little boy yelled out, "Ms. Sarah!! I want to use those stickers!"

I showed him what I had and explained that I was just throwing away the trash.. but for him, that wasn't good enough. He didn't really say anything but he carefully selected the things he wanted from my handful of "trash" and when back to his seat. I watched as he peeled the leftover sticker edging from the pages and carefully stuck the rest of his "stickers" to the tablecloth.

As I watched him admire his work I realized that he was absolutely right. Stickers are stickers... right? Whether it's the precisely cut out heart shapes or the stuff leftover when you remove them it's still a sticker. Just as when you cut cookies from dough... you don't throw the edges away... you roll it up and make the most of it. You use what you have and you make the most of what you've got to work with. To his mind it didn't matter that those weren't the actual stickers... it just mattered that they stuck.

A lot of times as adults we loose that ability to see the good in ALL that we have. We get caught up in wanting perfection and we forget that what we ALREADY HAVE still counts for good. :) When you think about it logically... maybe the best of the best is that perfectly cut out heart shape.. but what does that leave behind? The outline... of that very same cut out heart... and those hearts..
 Check out my post about creative ideas for re-purposing sticker sheets.

You may also be interested in:
10 Tips
Tips From A Teacher
Not Easy
The Job Labeled Easy
Red & Green
Red Flower, Green Stem
Classoom Organization

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Job Labeled "Easy"

Some people have the impression that a teachers job is easy... We have heard it all...
..."What do you do, play all day?"... but the truth is a teachers work is hard to do. 
Things teachers have to remember (nearly everyday):

-The names of the children in their personal class plus those of large amounts of passing children who stop to say hello (& their family members!)
- Individual skill levels of each child & how to best teach each one most effectively.
-What makes each child tick.
-The voices and cries of each child... for those moments when your hands & eyes are busy.
-Preferences... (No ketchup! Extra ketchup! No jelly! Only 2 bites of very highly promoted veggies. ;)... You get it!)
-The relationships of your students (No matter how naive they may seem... everyone has that person they can't play with)
 -Allergies and special needs of all children within their care
Just to name a few...

To be a teacher you have to hypothetically be able to calm three screaming children, break up a fight, get someone to the bathroom clean up a mess in a matter of minutes all without forgetting to smile & keep your calm. All of that on top of teaching everything your students need to learn in a variety of ways in a timely manner... also making sure it is reviewed and not forgotten. From crying over milk poured into cereal that was supposed to be dry to creating the foundations for education and relationships... all of us have a lot of our plate at any given moment of the day and something should be said for all of those people who have filled this role for you! You may also be interested in:
10 Tips
Tips From A Teacher
10 Ways To Teach
Red & Green
Red Flower, Green Stem
Classoom Organization