Learning With Mrs. Parker

Hello, from Barbara at the Corner on Character. Thank you, Sylvia, for appealing to me to share some reflections on recovery and wish. Children come to us in all shapes and sizes, from all different backgrounds, with a variety of experiences from their formative years. Some should come to school happy and healthy, but others shall be navigating sensory issues, be working with attachment issues, or be recovering from stress, trauma, or abuse.

They all bring a story as unique because they are. As care providers, we have the awesome privilege and responsibility to help shape, nurture, support, mentor, stretch, and grow alongside of the learners in our class families once we step to their stories and present them skills to soar. The kids whose tales are riddled with problems and pain, sadness and sorrow, tragedy and trauma, panic and angst will need a lot of our sensitive adoring care.

So just how do we reach them? Ah, the million-dollar question. First and foremost, students have to be able to trust us. We build trust when we deliver on our claims, when we do what we should say we’re heading to do, when we arrive and pay attention to understand before we react. We build trust by displaying empathy, kindness, and compassion.

We build trust with people of all age groups and phases by permitting them to know that they matter, they are important to us, that people are there on their behalf. Always. No real matter what. As caregivers, we work with the intention to connect with their hearts by honoring their feelings and assisting them feel that they are respected and valuable.

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One super-easy way to make those cable connections is standing up at the door and greeting students as they come into your character building. I like to stand at the entry, hold the door opened, and give high fives. I often put my opened up hand high above my challenge and mind students to reach higher. They need to jump a little for connecting palm to palm.

I can easily get a psychological barometer out of this simple activity, so I know whom I would need to be sure of before the day has gone out. Our teachers stand at their classroom doors to provide handshakes, high fives, or hugs. Students can choose which way they want to be greeted, another way to enable them. For those who may be dealing with a trauma or abuse, or those who have sensory issues, hugs might not be appropriate, so we provide them with a selection and take their lead.