Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Yesterday I left with blood on my arms and clothes.
Not my blood - blood of 2 of my students who in a 30 second episode beat each other's head against chairs and stabbed each other with pencils.
They sat in my room with paper towels over their wounds while I tried to overcome what had just happened so that I could actually teach something.
Nothing prepares you for days like yesterday, but even more than that, nothing prepares you for days like today.
When you get up to see your bloody clothes still soaking in the sink and despite the lump in your throat and nauceus feeling in your stomach you must go to work because you made a commitment.
A commitment to an organization, a community, a school, a classroom, their families....YOUR KIDS. Even in the moments where I feel like a failure I know that having me in the classroom is better than having a sub in that classroom.
Today was better - not good, but better.
It took me until at least 10 to breathe not be on edge or angry or apprehensive.
As they worked together through reading centers and guided reading classical music played in the background.
"Man, it's peaceful in here," said Malik. "This is mad cool. Do you like it Miss G?"
"Yeah, Malik. I do," I replied. I gave him a pat on the back. It was a moment where something profound could and maybe should have been said, but instead it was just a small little moment in this thing that has become my life.


dorkyteacher said...

That moment was profound enough.

Ms. M said...

Whoa. You are doing reading centers already? Go you!

Music does help doesn't it? I've been frustrated everyday having to watch 20 rowdy kindergarteners during the first ten minutes of the 37.5 while the classroom teachers dismiss the kids who go home early. Today I popped in a CD of "20 Kindergarten Hits" and magically they were all calmly sitting at their desks singing along and doing their writing practice.

Also, I took a hint from you. One kid is so wild I can never get him to sit or do what we are doing. Today I just let him play in the kitchen center (because that's what he needed). The afternoon was sooo much easier. He was happy, I was happy and the other kids were happy. They didn't even notice that he got to "play" and they were "working".

Ms. H said...

It's a testament to your ability that you were able to establish a peaceful, enjoyable learning environment so quickly after that incident.

Stephen J. Hopson said...

Wow, what a profound moment, especially after some bloodletting that made you sick to your stomach (and to mine!).

I hope to inspire you with some stories I have been on a crusade to share with the nation's teachers. It concerns the impact my fifth grade teacher on my life.

I hope you will the following stories inspiring and perhaps further the cause of public education. They illustrate the impact my fifth grade teacher made on me, a little deaf boy who went on to become a stockbroker, speaker, author and pilot.

She uttered three words that forever changed the course of my future.

Those three words were: "That's Right Stephen!"

What I am trying to do is find a central location where millions of teachers read inspiring stories, giving them the lift they need on tough days? Do you know of any?

One of the stories was published in a best-selling book called "heartwarmers" (out of print now but obtainable by contacting the author who complied the stories).

Here are the stories at my blog - it is suggested you read them in the following order:






I hope you enjoy reading these stories to the point where you will be inspired to help me reach many more teachers out there.

Stephen Hopson