Monday, August 15, 2011

the power of words

School started today and it was not the day I had been envisioning for the past three months.  I was praying and hoping that my fifth year would be THE year...the year with mild behavior problems, a year where I could get through a week without feeling emotionally let down and drained. Maybe year six?  
I've known and have always known that where I teach takes more patience then you ever thought you had in you and the thickest of skin. It's rough, it's tough, it's not always pretty.  Sometimes I just don't understand...I can't understand.  And I shake my head in confusion and want to shout at the heavens to make things right. 

I came across this quote and I think it is so powerful. 

“From the moment a child begins to speak, he is taught to respect the word; he is taught how to use the word and how not to use it. The word is all-powerful, because it can build a man up, but it can also tear him down. That’s how powerful it is. So a child is taught to use words tenderly and never against anyone; a child is told never to take anyone’s name or reputation in vain.” 
Henry Old Coyote

Crow Tribe Author,excerpt from Respect for Life

Don't you wish all parents upheld this responsibility? Sometimes I have the sneaky feeling that parents don't think this is their responsibility. It is their responsibility. It's our responsibility to show our children that we must be careful with our thoughts, our actions, our words. That these things become who we are. 

Today, as one of my new friends thought it was funny as he defiantly shouted from his lungs that Kindergarten was "so boring" and that I was "evil Mrs. Wolfe", I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and tried to remind myself that this child has not been taught the power of words. He has not been taught to respect this life he's been given and to show that respect to those around him.

Oh my.
It's going to be a long year.


  1. Oh no! I pray that this first day isn't a reflection of what your year will turn out to be. I'm in my 6th year and I have to say that for SOME reason, my 5th was the worst year ever. We all have our up years and down. Hopefully this is your up.

    You are SO right about parents neglecting their responsibility of teaching their kids respect. It's a shame that your kindergartener can say such horrible things on an impulse. And the sad thing is, most of the time, they chalk it up to ADHD and medicate...when it's really B-R-A-T! So sad.

  2. Thanks Joanna! Hopefully today will be much better :)

  3. I could not agree more!! It's terrible to see how obsolete the responsibility of teaching children this mantra is becoming. "Kids say the darndest things" has become "Kids say the rudest things"... time to take a stand! Great post. Hoping things get better for you!

  4. :-( Oh my goodness. Education starts at home. where I work it really doesn't. I respect you that you teach kindergarten...because it really takes a special person to do that.

  5. I can so relate to this. I was leaving Lakeshore teacher supply store the other day which in our town is right across from a McDonald's play structure and in the course of about 2 minutes of walking to my car, overheard 2 boys (9/10ish) use the F word too many times to count. My skin was just crawling. How can such innocent children be raised to speak in such a horrific way and think it's acceptable? Just know that the love you'll provide for that little kindergartener this year (even when it's so hard to see the good when they're such pills) will totally transform him. That's what makes our job all the more important. We deserve to be paid waaaay more. Hang in there, friend!

  6. i'm so sorry :( those students are so hard. the good thing is you will probably see some level of progress by the end of the year (maybe even by Christmas) and you'll know it's because of you!