I have noticed in the past couple of years that I am a kinder and more compassionate teacher.  I have more patience and more understanding.  My colleagues might think this is because, as a literacy coach, I no longer have my own classroom and my own set of students.  But I think it’s because I’m a mom.

Because I see Maddie and Kate’s faces everywhere…

On that little girl in the 4th grade class who is a little loud and a lot bossy.   I hope that her classmates will be kind and not exclude her.  That could be Maddie.

On that little kindergartner who cried on the first day of school, and the second, and the third…  I hope that his teacher will understand that he is only five years old, and he misses his mommy.  I hope she gives him a hug.  That could be Katie.

On the fifth grader who shook with fear when told it was her turn to share her writing.  I hope she will find some confidence, and I hope her teacher will not admonish her for being afraid.  That could be Maddie.

On the little boy who was so excited that his tooth just fell out that he could not, would not pay attention to the reading lesson.  I hope his teacher will share in his excitement and understand that we all get distracted sometimes.  That could be Katie.

On all of their faces, I see the possibility of my own children, and that has made me a kinder and more compassionate teacher.  I see their faces, and I smile.


21 thoughts on “Faces

  1. Oh Dana. I love this. It’s so true and you put it so nicely. It’s an important reminder of the smallest acts making a difference and that our students are far more than just students. They’re people too. 🙂

  2. I definitely think having children change who we are for the better, especially when it comes to kindness and compassion.”On all of their faces, I see the possibility of my own children…” What could be more powerful than that? I’ve seen the mom/teacher connection for years and believe, with all my heart, your words are true. 🙂

  3. I can definitely relate to how I treat children and the elderly…like I want my family members to be treated…with a little more kindness, patience and compassion. Your post brings me back to what is really important in life. Will the child who lost his tooth have memories of a single reading lesson or will he remember the excitement of losing his tooth and how happy the teacher was for him?

  4. Reading your post brings me back to when I came back to work after having Ashleigh. I remember being a little calmer and thinking, “How would I want someone speaking to/looking at my child?” Having kids makes working with kids so much better.

  5. Dana, reading this is such a reminder that these kids are someone’s “babies”. So true. Thank you for this reminder. I think I will try and go back and read this once in awhile. Thank you!

  6. So much truth in this, Dana – although I do see some colleagues who don’t have children and who seem to have a natural affinity for childre. I think it’s about having an open heart…and patience…and enjoying the gifts that children are.

  7. I feel the same way Dana because I’m a Mom I think one of those kids could be Blake someday and hope that their teacher would be patient and understanding with him. It has truly changed me as a teacher! I’m so thankful for that.

  8. I firmly believe that mothers or those who are close to nieces/nephews, etc. develop a compassion piece that changes how you deal with students at school. Any one of the kids walking around could be your child…………..

  9. So true, Dana! I think it’s the Mom in you without a doubt. Your girls softened you in a way and we all saw it. I think it happened to a bunch of us! I think you are paying it forward for Maddie and Katie when they are in school… You are a true story teller! I’ve never loved reading about someone’s life as much as I love reading about yours. 🙂

  10. I loved the way you ended each paragraph with the same phrase. It made your point so much more poignant. Your ending circled back to your beginning, which reminded us of the point of your blog. All kids, no matter what, are worth loving.

  11. Isn’t it interesting how much motherhood changes us. Love the structure and repetition of this slice.

  12. Yes. Totally. I also agree with Tara that there are lots of teachers who are not moms but still feel a similar kind of connection to kids. It’s about being able to love and treat all kids as though they could be your own.

  13. Becoming a mom changes our perspective in so many ways. This is beautifully written and is right on. We need more teachers like you working with children.

  14. Dana, this was the Slice I needed to read today. It just made my day, and reminded me that, even when my school kids need patience and someone to never give up on them. As my little one grows older, I am sure that I will see her in some of my school kids too. Thank you for the perfect Slice!

  15. I can absolutely relate to this Dana! Being a mom does change the way you view the entire world. It changes everything. I also like the way you wrote it with switching off with each of your girls. So sweet!!

  16. Everyday I think about what if that was my child. I think about my responses to the students. If that was my child how would she feel. When I hear the teachers talking to the students, I think what if my child was spoke to in that manner. I constantly wear my mother hat as well as the many other hats that I constantly wear. But I notice the my mother is the biggest.

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