Friday, May 13, 2011

Miracle Worker

Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, pretending to be teacher Annie Sullivan with Helen Keller. 
If I had to chose one to resemble, I would definately chose "Cuckoo Catchoo Mrs. Robinson". 
However, I didn't get to choose my looks and more than one person has told me I look like Patty Duke. 

Being a kindergarten teacher is as important to the world as being a surgeon.  I'm not into hyperbole.  I'm being serious.  I have a life in my hands.  If I treat that child well and guide him effectively then he has a solid foundation on which to build his life. 

If I am cruel, heartless, thoughtless, or worse yet indifferent, then the child suffers not just in the here and now but forever.  I know that my affect on a child will be long lasting so I really consider deeply my role in their life.

Today was a tough day at school.  Alhumdulillah.  I earned my money today!  When I came home and did my prayers (no time to do duhr at school---astragferallah), I made sujud with complete gratitude for the peace and quiet here in my our apartment.

After dinner, I kept thinking of the conference I must have tomorrow.  It's yet another serious discussion with yet another family having problems with their child.  If I cannot help this child and his family, who will?  This weighs heavily on my mind. 

Yet, at the same time, I have a duty to the other children in the room.  We have 29 days left together and I want those days to be memorable in a positive way.  Today had too many negatives and I worked too hard to keep the good feeling and hugs going.

Honestly, I think there comes a time when a teacher has to say that she's done all she can do.  I am not a miracle worker.  I'm just a person and I don't have all the expertise and all the answers.

Here's an analogy:  If I had a child who was bumping into chairs and tables and even other children, shouldn't I try to figure out why?  There would soon be upset and injury!  It wouldn't be right to assume I could help the child based only on my guesswork.  It could be a problem with my furniture lay-out.  Maybe there's a vision problem or a problem with his equilibrium.  Or should I start looking into his state of mind? 

I should release.  That's the answer I decided upon.  There are too many variables when a child is acting up in the classroom.  I don't really have all the information so I requested his parents to provide both a physical and a psychological evaluation.

Lots of times, we want to play armchair psychologist and determine that a child is troubled emotionally and must be seen for family issues.  I am against this approach.  There are many physical conditions which show up as negative behaviors.  A child who isn't processing information correctly due to deficiencies in hearing or vision can't function well in a classroom.  Anemia and low-blood sugar can adversely affect energy levels during a busy school day. 

So, I'll await the test results and then decide how best I can help this child.  Inshahallah, his education will continue after I get educated about his needs first.

May Allah help all the teachers to guide their children to the good straight path of knowledge.

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