When I saw Calliou on that first day of school that fall - I lit up, I brought all I had and I asked all the questions. We had a great year because I knew better and I was able to do better. We made connections. I will be forever grateful to Jody even if it is just that one student who benefited I am happy - but so many more will benefit from my Calliou wisdom.
Another statement that Jody brought to my attention in this chapter - “Don’t you know that mad is just sad’s bodyguard.” Whoa! Back the bus up! That is so important - read it again. This was mind-blowing for me. Maybe something I knew but didn’t really recognize. I think by keeping this in mind my approach to my angry kids is so, so much different. So many have not been shown how to regulate - it is my job to model this and walk them home. I have always been honest with my students. I am a terrible speller and I ask for their help. If I write something on the board and it is spelled wrong - they need to point that out to me. I make mistakes, I am the teacher but I don’t know everything about everything, I learn every day with them. When I make a mistake - I own it. I apologize and I hope to do better the next time. When my kids (the ones I own) were little and I was “chippy” I let them know. I’d say, “Mommy isn’t in a great mood - so please work with me.” I now let my students know if I am off. I strive to be “on” for them at all times but I am human. This spring I got sick - very sick and I had a hard time finding a sub. I told my class that I was doing my best but I was sick. My toughest/hardest mad/sad kid sent me a note that said: “Mrs. Watt, thank you for being kind to us even when you are not feeling well.” I don’t know if he experienced that in his world. I am happy to have modeled that for him.
That's My View from the 86th Pew,