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Quote :: Being a Rebel

Steve Jobs Quote

I’ve written a post before about how to help kids who break the mold – who don’t fit in and who fight the way that things are “supposed to be.” Call them stubborn, headstrong, spirited, whatever you want. Regardless of the term, these kids have the potential to make working in a school exhausting! Yet these are the very kids who have the potential to take what we know as a human race and stretch the boundaries. These are the visionaries, the trail-blazers, the innovators.

As a kid, my parents would both tell you that I was a troublemaker. They recently gave me some letters I had written to Santa as a child and rather than give the traditional, “For Christmas I want…” list, I instead interrogated him as to how he could possibly make it to all the houses in one night, how millions of toys could fit into one sled, and whether or not Rudolph existed. Why couldn’t I just accept that a jolly man in a red suit could deliver presents to all the good boys and girls like every adult had told me?

Yet despite the headaches I undoubtedly caused my parents as a child, many of those same characteristics have helped me to serve my students. Whether it’s fighting for or against a special education placement for a student because I truly believed it to be in their best interest, or questioning why we have to treat a student “the same as we’ve always treated other students like them,” working in schools can be messy. And what our kids need isn’t a world of “yes ma’am,” “go-with-the-flow” people. What they need are advocates, champions, and strong examples of confident adults.

It’s a great reminder for us as we think about working with our more challenging students.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

– Steve Jobs

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Quote :: Needing Love

LoveI found this awesome quote on Pinterest the other day. Unfortunately, it didn’t list the author and I couldn’t find an author after googling it either. If anyone knows who said it, please let me know! *Update* Thanks to a reader, we now know the author!

It’s a great reminder for me as the school year starts.

“Kids who need love the most will ask for it in the most unloving of ways.” – Russell A. Barkley

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Student Funnies :: Age is a State of Mind

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Student I’ve never met: “Are you a kid? Or are you an adult?”

Sometimes even I don’t know the answer to that one!! I couldn’t help but laugh today when a kindergarten student at our school asked me this question. I’m not sure what it was exactly…maybe the way I was dressed? My hair? At any rate, it made me smile.

One of the things my grandma always said growing up was, “Age is a state of mind and if you don’t mind, it don’t matter!”

And while I’m still “a baby” in the words of many of my coworkers, I can’t help but realize as each day goes by how much further I am away from elementary, middle, and even high school. And while I like to think I still do a pretty good job relating to the students I work with, I find myself having to work harder and harder to remember what it was like to be a kid.

But if there IS one thing I remember about being a kid, it was all the crazy and fun adults I knew: a camp counselor who played practical jokes on the boys, my level 3 swim teacher who made up ridiculous songs to help us remember each stroke, my 4th grade teacher who invented dances with us at recess. These people remind me how important it is to sometimes “stop being an adult,” and meet kids where they are.

By putting our adult-ness aside every once and awhile and not being afraid to look goofy, we have a chance to impact kids in a way other adults in their lives maybe haven’t before. We have a chance to stand out, create fun memories, and make a difference!

So laugh a little louder, spend some time at recess, skip down the hallway to your next IEP meeting, or do some arts & crafts. Go be a kid with your kids today!