They're children.


Last week an educator who happens to be my current grad class professor impressed upon us the most simple, yet profound realization: “They’re children.”

Do we sometimes forget that? Do we sometimes focus on the fact that they’re not sitting still…not making direct eye contact with us during a lesson…make lapses in judgment which lead to questionable behaviors…not exerting enough effort on assignments….not studying enough for a test…and the list goes on.

We are the adults. We chose this profession because, I should sincerely hope, we want to serve as role models in the lives of our students and impact their lives in meaningful ways.

He said, “Even the 18 year olds, who put on a tough exterior, are children at heart.”

It’s true. We have to give them our best. We can’t transform into selfish, immature, negative souls just because something doesn’t go our way. Is it going their way? What do they need us to be? Are we doing the very best with the resources, time, and capacity we’re given to help them learn? Day after day? Are we working to better ourselves for them?

They need us to be strong. They need us to be confident. They need us to take risks and not be afraid of making mistakes. They need us to believe in them on their worst days, and celebrate them on their best days. No one is perfect. No child is perfect. But they’re our children. And they’re the reasons we come to work each and every day.

Sometimes, in the moments when we believe we’ve reached our breaking points, in the times when we feel as though we’ll never have enough resources or time to make a difference, we need to remember that our children spend 8 hours a day with us, and that it is our charge to help them learn and love to learn. No school is perfect. No one ever has enough “time.” But the time we do have with our students should be cherished. We must dedicate ourselves to accepting the challenges each new day brings, and to do better than we did the day before.

Why? Because they’re children. And we owe it to them. Every word we say, every action we take, every effort we give to classroom activities is important to them, whether they outwardly display it or not.

Remember this, each and every day!

8 Replies to “They're children.”

  1. Great Post. We often forget they are children! This reminds me of an excuse I heard recently about why a teacher did not want to get to ask about her students’ home life. She expressed that she didn’t want them to share because then others would share and it would get out of control. We sometimes mistake engagement and excitement as “out of control.” They are children!

    1. Thanks for your comments, Didi. Your story is a great reminder of why we must help our teachers continuously build rapport and develop relationships with our children. Learning will be meaningful when we do so!

    1. Thanks for the resource, David. I agree, it’s important as the adults in the situation to take a step back and assess where the behaviors are coming from. We have the talent and skills to use stressful classroom situations as learning experiences and should always do so!

  2. Great post.
    It always amazes me when l meet with teachers about a certain incident. As I listen to them describing some infraction done by a student more often than not my response is well they are still children and we are the adults.
    Thanks for reminding everyone of that

  3. Akevy, I have been a part of the same type of meetings, and my response has been similar! Children may make the wrong decisions sometimes (don’t we all?!) but we, as the adults, need to be committed to help them serve as role models and learn how to approach each situation with care. Thanks for your comments!

  4. I love this post!

    I don’t think I realized, when I was a younger teacher, how important it is to keep things in perspective with students. They ARE kids… and something I remind myself often is that each child is someone’s baby. Whether they’re 5 or 18, someone thinks this child is a precious gift. Maybe more importantly, maybe they DON’T have someone in their lives that feels this way. So I had better feel that way about each and every one of them. 🙂 Some are a little more challenging than others, but now they are all MY kids, too.

    1. I appreciate your thoughts, Michelle. In dealing with frustrated parents, I always take to heart that their words and actions are in response to the genuine love and care for their “baby.” It’s so important to gain that perspective. And another point well taken is that not all children come from that foundation of care and support, and we in our schools must provide that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.