Thursday, August 30, 2012

Teaching real people

The plans are all lined up.  The books are carefully chosen.  The schedule is made.  It's all perfect, and it has been carefully designed around my children and our goals.  This is great and all, but I forgot one thing...

I'm teaching real people.

BTW, I have a friend that keeps saying this, and it is finally sinking in to my brain.  I think I'm beginning to understand.

These are real people.  The plans are great on paper, but these are real people...

For us, that means that breakfast didn't start until 10am, even if I planned otherwise.  It means that no matter how much I yell or stomp my feet, discipline, or try to motivate, my plans get severely altered or dropped entirely. 

One real person loves school and learning; EXCEPT, that she is highly emotional and sensitive, and is swayed by whatever she's feeling that day.  She is also physically sensitive, so little things like brushing her hair sends her over the edge.  I think she has allergies, and just overall has days of not feeling good.  She gets colds and infections easily, and takes longer to get over them.  So there's one student that does not fit the plan.

Another real person hates school more than carrots.  She's a bright kid, but would rather DO things in REAL life, than get something from a book.  Or, she'd rather watch Martha Speaks with subtitles.  Or, she'd rather lie in bed into the early afternoon and read the Inkheart series.  She has her own struggles, for whatever reason - she just seems at odds with the physical act of writing.  I'm always at a loss of how to make this job easier for her.  So there's another student that doesn't fit the plan.

And my last little real person is 3.  Do I need to explain "3"?  She goes here, she goes there...just try to get her to go in the opposite direction.  She doesn't want to learn her ABCs or Counting, or anything academic right now, if ever.  She wants to scoot her bike slowly down the driveway, not using her pedals because bike pedals are too hard.  She wants me to watch her scoot her bike slowly down the driveway.  Or, she wants to turn on Backyardigans, the "Help help help!" episode while pushing the remote control buttons all by herself.  She wants to pull every item of clothing out of everyone's drawer and drop it on the floor.  She wants to change her clothing 10 times a day.  She wants the world to stop whenever she has to pee, while she frantically runs around the house trying to find the ONE and ONLY person that is allowed to take her to the toilet.  And it can't be just any toilet.  It has to be the carefully chosen toilet, followed by the carefully chosen person.

So if it doesn't seem like I'm doing a whole lot academically, it's probably because I'm dealing with real people.  I wish there was a book for that.

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