Saturday, August 24, 2013

Patience is a Virtue

The saying "patience is a virtue" is something I've heard all my life because, well, I'm not the most patient person around. I typically respond with something along the lines of "yes, it is. Unfortunately, it's not one of my God given gifts."  

Patience is something that I have to practice and pray for every. Single. Day. 

We have completed our first week of the new school year and I have been constantly forced to remind myself to be patient, not to snap or yell, and to take deep breaths. My kids this year aren't annoying or rude or anything else that would generally try my nerves. In fact, they're sweet, mature for their age, respectful of me, and generally great kids in classes that are generally great classes. Why then, do I need patience?

I almost exclusively teach kids at both ends of the ability spectrum and in my district, they are grouped by performance level. My hard working kiddos who struggle more with school test my patience in the need for things to move slowly, to be broken down into smaller chunks than I ever have before, and for me to absolutely never yell or lose my patience because that causes immediate shut down for them. I don't want to ruin their academic goals because I get frustrated one day and the result is that some of those kids may not think they're capable. I believe that every single one of them is capable of graduating from high school-- and I've told them this. I can't afford to lose my patience with them. It wouldn't be fair. 

My kiddos on the other end of the spectrum are trying my patience in other ways. I know lots of highly intelligent people who struggle with common sense tasks (like my Dad). A handful of these students make Sheldon Cooper look like he has all the common sense in the world. 

As usual, my students are teaching me at least as much as I believe I'm teaching them. I love it. One week down, year 4! :)

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