One of my favorite moments in our school day is the 15-20 minutes right after breakfast. It’s during this time where the kids come together on the carpet to hold what we call a “Community Meeting.” During this block, teachers are required to deliver lessons and have discussions using our social-emotional curriculum (The RULER Approach), but there are a few occasions where teachers stray away from the curriculum to address some more pressing, in-the-moment, spontaneous events that take place in or out of the classroom.
I spend a lot of time with the 3rd graders. One of the students in 3rd grade has a history of unsafe behaviors and, as a result, requires 240 minutes of Behavior Intervention Services each day. So, since the beginning of the school year, I’ve been spending the first half of my day in his classroom, supporting with unsafe behaviors and his Intervention Plan.
Some days I feel like my work is meaningless. Some days I want to throw my hands up in the air and call it quits.
There are hundreds of times when I feel like I’ve made 5 steps forward only to make 10 steps back within the hour.
And then there are days like yesterday.
Days like yesterday when, during Community Meeting, the teacher had the students sit down and pick a student to recognize for showing “heroic habits.” Two of the kids turned toward this particular student as he was attempting to climb the bookshelf and rip things off the wall. They turned their whole body toward him, faced him directly, and looked him in the eye and said, “I want to shout you out because on Friday, you were being really safe and I hope we can be safe together today.”
Needless to say, he climbed off the bookshelf and sat down to join his class.
The power of inclusion.
Brings me to tears.
And reminds me that there will be moments like that that make it all worth it.