As we grow older, it is so easy to forget how it feels to be a child. As we grow and change, we become wrapped up in our own lives, can we pay the rent, can we lose a certain amount of weight, will we get a job. All of these things, to us, seem more important than a child complaining about a silly argument they had over a game, or losing a toy. But they are not. It is far too easy to forget. These little things, though inconsequential to us, mean just as much to the child as our woes and worries do to us.
It is hard to be a child. It is hard for the child who isn’t confident in his sporting abilities, who stands on the sidelines while others play.
It is hard for the child who doesn’t play Mine Craft, while he is the only one in the whole class who doesn’t have a clue who Stampy Long Nose is.
It is hard for the child who comes to school with a dirty uniform, or no uniform at all. It is hard for the child who had to get himself up for school, dress himself and get the bus, while his parents sleep in.
It is hard for the child who never has treats on a Friday, watching other children dive into their goodies.
It is hard for the child who doesn’t have anyone to help him with his homework.
I think you get the picture. What can we do to help? If a child doesn’t have a uniform on, instead of giving out, try to think why he doesn’t. Was he anxiously rooting around in the morning for a clean uniform for school? Is it really that big of a deal anyway? Is it any harm to have a few jellies in your desk for the children who don’t have sweets on Fridays? Would it be so bad to take ten minutes away from teaching time, to have listening time instead? To talk to the children, find out why they come into school looking angry, to find out why they cannot concentrate on their work.
As teachers we are so lucky and blessed. We can make a difference. Even if it is only for the five hours while the children are in our care. We can make them feel listened to and special. We can act like we are impressed by their retrieval of a diamond sword in a computer game. Children need to be listened to, and we can do that, even if it is for two minutes in the day.
Not all children need this extra love and attention. The majority don’t , they get it at home. However, some do. And some is too many in my opinion.
I think children are exceptional.