Thursday, April 15, 2010

Playing Favorites

Today, I got hit in the face again. Most of the time, it's an accident. Other times, kids get really upset and, being pretty new to this earth they haven't yet found a better way to express their emotions than punching me in the face.

Today was a different story. I was kneeling before a three-year-old boy to put on his unnecessarily large hiking boots. While I was bent over one, double-knotting it to his specifications, he held the laces of the other boot and whipped me purposefully in the face with his boot. The blow was accompanied by the typical blinding white pain that you get when you are struck in the eyes and nose. I didn't even make a noise. I was shocked by the pain and by the action. When I finally opened my eyes again, the boy sat in front of me looking pleased.

It's hard to balance being a preschool teacher with being... human. He's three, I keep reminding myself. But how can I not be upset with someone who just whacked me in the face and enjoyed it so? Another student of mine loves to speak with me in English, he loves to tell jokes, he loves to make me laugh (see photos above). When one two-year-old boy was crying for mommy, another one put on a silly hat and danced in front of him. How can one not favor these kids over those who seem to enjoy causing hurt? I know, I know, children who are acting out are doing it for a reason but when push literally comes to shove, how can a teacher not have feelings?

I guess, what makes a good teacher is her ability to accept those feelings without letting them interfere with her work. This is what I strive for daily.

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