It’s been three weeks since the start of the school year and our teachers are really coming into their first stride. As you will see in the clip below, classroom procedures/discipline are always a big focus, but so are building relationships.
This last week I visited all four of our teachers, filmed some b-roll of them teaching, and interviewed each one of them. I also witnessed a tragedy. While I was waiting for one of our teachers to get back from a meeting, I happened to look through blinds of her classroom out to the parking lot and saw social services taking a child into custody. Even though I couldn’t hear any of the conversations taking place, I could see a small child in the arms of female detective. I watched as she comforted the child and carefully placed it into one of the police. Within a minute a swarm of officers were questioning an adult woman (I can only guess it was her mother L). Like so many unexpected duties that come to teachers, reporting abuse, drugs or suicidal notes comes to many in the profession.
But those are the realities of teaching today. Teachers are no longer dispensers of knowledge and discipline. They are often called on to be care takers, nurses, teachers of civility, friends, confidants, and role models in ways the public doesn’t fully appreciate.
That image stayed with me throughout the day. I thought back to some of my own experiences as a new teacher failing to recognize signs of abuse. My limited understanding of how to handle situations was not just from a lack of training, it was compounded by the fact that I did not believe some of those things could happen to my students. But boy, did it happen. . .
As you can tell, this project is hitting home for me in a lot of ways. I hope it’s cathartic. I hope it comes full circle. While I was visiting Becky’s classroom full of rambunctious kindergarteners I couldn’t help but join in and help steer a little boy back on track. I patted him on the back, gave him a positive word and told him he could do it. I thought to myself, yeah, I still remember how to do this J. Stay tuned for more adventures of Renee, Becky, Caleb, and Bridget.