(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)
The student arrived already grumpy on a two-hour delay day, as if the weather were plotting something against them, personally. They expressed that the bad day had already begun and would likely keep going, probably bound to get worse. All day. Today. There was make-up work to get started on, some daily things to accomplish, their friend was absent, a pencil wouldn’t sharpen, a paper was missing, and so on. All of it evidence of a world conspiring against them, today, this day.
I countered with a cheerful “good morning,” and made sure to check in with them a few times, smiling and being purposefully upbeat (not that I’m not anyway, but still …), and slowly, their mood seemed gradually to shift back towards some semblance of normal. By day’s end, as I was saying “have a great afternoon” when the dismissal bell rang, I saw glimpses of a smile and the carrying of a body that suggested some of the melancholy had dissipated.
One may never know what affects the moods of our students on any given day. What we can do is do the best we can to help them keep some balance and perspective on a swirling adolescent world, through our words and our actions and our caring dispositions. This has nothing to do with academics. It has everything to do with the child, and our role, as teacher.
Peace (even in the dark),