Perspective through a different lens

Today I had the opportunity to attend attend two sessions about trauma responsiveness and behavior by Juliana Nichols-Hazlett. Hazlett is a doctoral student, former administrator and special education teacher, and consultant who is focusing on ensuring that teachers are equipped and empowered to meet the social-emotional needs of their students. I could honestly listen to her all day and got so much out of the her two sessions. Reflecting on what impacted me the most and will make its way into my classroom on Monday morning.

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Ross Greene believes kids do well if they can and that reigns true for people too. People do well if they can and Hazlett notes when people know better, they do better. It’s basic brain architecture really.  Basic brain architecture prove that experiences shape the brain and interactions with adults and through experiences build the brain’s foundation. Something I found very interesting is that the part of the brain that isn’t being used prunes and makes room for new learning and experiences over time.

Educators are seeing trauma in students today. In fact, two out of three students are impacted by trauma. Trauma in our lives changes our body and brain architecture. Educators must remember that it is vital to focus on what happened with/to them versus what’s wrong with them. Every single person manages trauma differently. As educators, it is our job to respond through a relationship that is rooted in regulated and reflective practices.

Many depend on us to be the constant. Until we (adults) recognize the social emotional learning ourselves, we can’t just focus on our students. Hazlett notes a disregulated adult is toxic. If we can’t be rooted in relationships, we aren’t able to meet the deeper needs of the student. Our role as responsive educators isn’t about our title, it’s about the relationship. The way we respond to either reinforces the trauma or repairs the trauma. Building the relationship and truly moving from trauma informed to trauma responsiveness stems to what are we doing and how we are responding to those with trauma.

The way that educators respond to trauma matters. We are wired for connections as humans. It’s how our brain works. Moving from trauma informed to trauma responsiveness takes time and equates to having the knowledge and utilizing it with intent to make a change. It’s a slow process, of course. However, it is my responsibility as an adult and educator, to calm the chaos and not join in. We have an opportunity each day to make an impact and build up a relationship over time. Trauma looks different in everyone but the way you respond and build a relationship with someone truly makes a difference. Be willing to try a new lens, way, approach, or response to make an impact. It matters. Text placeholder.png

 

 

Realize & Recognize the amazing

Everyday, we as educators, have goals, items to attend to, and tasks to meet. We strive for our best in a society that doesn’t always appreciate what we do. We deal with questions, emails, and roadblocks in our path.

Unless you’re in school, an organization, or have been in school, society doesn’t always realize what we face day in and out. The meltdowns of many students, discipline, lesson planning, long term planning, curriculum, parent complaints, conferences, and the list continues. Society also doesn’t see the light bulb moments, the AHA moments, the connections, and the smiles and love our students give and receive.

 

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As educators, we have got to stop & realize and recognize we are amazing! Society may not say it or recognize it but we, as an amazing community of educators, need to say it and recognize it daily. When we see amazing in our schools and communities, we need to recognize and acknowledge it. We need to note it. We need to say it! We need to cultivate and grow an amazing culture of educators. We must recognize the good that comes our way!

YOU can move mountains & be an amazing educator day in and out! Own it!

Perspective through my student’s eyes

It’s the end of October and we’re knee deep into the first semester of this year. The first few weeks of school are behind us and fall has finally hit in the southern part of Texas for a few days. My days are full of memories and challenges. They are also full of self-doubt and questioning if I am doing what’s best for my students. 

My students, though, set me straight every single time without fail.

Their opinions are RAW, REAL, and really put me back in my place. They really don’t hold back and know when to give their two cents and when to give me that reality that they see more in me than I see in myself.

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I have students that take the imperfect me and build me up daily. They show their true skills that define who they are and use them to communicate with me. I also have students that make me proud to be their teacher. The imperfect me, the always questioning what I can do to help them me, makes a difference in their lives daily.

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I am reminded daily how my student’s perceive me. My students are really with it and make my world go around and around. They make me smile and sit back and wonder how I got so lucky to have them. They show me grace and accept that I am who I am. They give more grace than I give myself and are learning at their own pace and time. They also color the world with art and notes to make my day.

My student’s perspective has changed me as an educator. It’s inspired, it’s uplifted, and it’s defined who I am today. My students know I love handwritten notes and love it when I make them “famous” by sharing on social media. If that’s what it takes to make that connection and impact them just like they’re impacting me, I am all in.

Everyday may not be peaches and roses but I am grateful to have the opportunity with students who show me grace, a different perspective, and inspire me to do more than I could have ever thought I could do. Through my student’s eyes, I am their superhero and their teacher. I am someone who makes them smile and laugh. I am also someone who brings learning alive. It helps that my students build me up and think I am a superhero, who goes and helps other kids, who saves the day.

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Perspective through my student’s eyes varies student by student and day by day but their input makes me stop and wonder. It’s not about me. It’s about them learning, becoming aware of what’s around them, and moving forward as a student in this world of learning. The extra perspectives our students give are priceless.

The next time you’re doubting yourself or wondering if you’re doing a good job, sit back and watch how your students perceive you. It means the world to them & it might just change your perspective too.