Growing up I had a Sunday school teacher/Children’s choir director that was stricter than strick. Most of us kids found her strictness to be mean and we always knew when she spoke she meant business. As I got older, I began to appreciate and understand her strictness. Oftentimes throughout my life, I have found myself reminiscing on the discipline she implemented. Her structure kept us grounded, her strictness required our best, and her unwavering gained our respect. Lately, more times than not I have wondered how did she remain confident that we (children) would grasp the concept of her love.
As I’ve reflected on my approach with children, I have realized I embody a similar level of strictness. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too harsh on the children I serve; especially since my chosen population of interest is “at-risk.” However, it’s moments like yesterday that remind me to keep being me (and remain confident) because those I am supposed to reach I will.
Every morning at summer camp, we have Harambee. The Swahili term means “let’s pull together.” Each morning, during this time we Greet each other in a very “hype” way, listen to our Read aloud guest, sing cheers and chants, recognize positive behaviors and listen to announcements.
Yesterday, one of my students that I am always redirecting and helping with his temper/anger issues requested to make a recognition.
Kid: I have a recognition
Whole Site: Recognize
Kid: I said I have a recognition
Whole Site: Recognize
Kid: I would like to recognize Ms. Kotrish for being a great teacher.
I could’ve cried but I’m not much of an external crier; especially in public.
Being the authoritarian person that I am at the site it’s nice to know the kids get it or at least one. It’s all love and expectation from Ms. Kotrish! I truly feel and believe no kid should grow up and look back at all the adults that passed through his or her life and wonder how come there wasn’t one to grab my hand and believe in me.
Regardless if I am spending an hour with a kid and expect to never see him or her again or spending six short weeks at a summer camp, I always seek to plant a seed because we are all somebody and we all have a purpose.