When I got home from work today, I thought about a girl I have in class last year, and one I have this year. On the outside, they are both easy to get mad and aggravated at. One thing about the girl last year is she was repeating the grade. I hadn’t had her her first year in the grade level, but I knew her. No one volunteered to have her in class for her repeat year, so I did.
I saw her in the office on the first day of school, walked up to her with a big smile on my face, and told her how excited I was for her to be in my class. I talked to her and realized I knew why she acted how she did a lot of the time. I had some similar issues growing up, and I very easily could have acted out that way growing up. I didn’t, but why? I also realized she is learning a lot of this at home.
Empathy is what helped me. Honestly, before last year, I could name 100 negative things about myself, but I struggled to come up with one positive thing. She helped me realize I’m empathetic and I could make connections with one of “those” kids.
This year, I’m having trouble connecting with one of my newer students. She doesn’t come to school often, she is doing some “flirting” with some of the boys in my class (and you know the three kids in class who should stay away from each other, but always find each other and it’s just no no no– it’s that group), she rolls her eyes at me and tries to make fun of me and students in my class. I was getting really exasperated with her and really just frustrated. Well, I had a talk with her today (about some random thing) and something started taking form in my mind. When I got home, I thought about it some more. Things are starting to make some sense, and that empathy is kicking in. (I know empathy isn’t whoo this simple and stuff, but I’m just writing here!)
Tomorrow I’m going to call her over and just talk to her. I probably won’t have the relationship I had with the other student, but we need to come to some sort of something. I think I’m starting to get her now, and I want to help her succeed. Hopefully I can help her and we can salvage some sort of relationship before she leaves for next year.