I’m sitting in my car waiting for my 12 year old son, who is having his saxophone lesson right now. Every Thursday he has a private lesson – he also plays the clarinet in the sixth grade band. I almost always dread this day… not because I don’t want him to play or anything, but I always feel as though my time could be better spent doing something other than sitting outside a house waiting for thirty minutes. Sometimes I grade papers, sometimes I read a book or magazine, often I just scroll social media or check my email. I have even fallen asleep a time or two!
Even though it may seem like an inconvenience to me, of course it is not for my son, who loves playing the saxophone! Ask him to play “Careless Whisper” sometime! He taught himself how to play by watching YouTube videos even before he had taken any formal lessons!
Now that I think about this time, though, I believe I have grown to like it. It’s quiet, and I don’t really HAVE to DO anything! Today though, I am writing my Slice, and reflecting on my day in my third grade classroom. It was kind of a rough one. Without getting into too many details, I have a particularly difficult student who is new to our building since November. After sitting through a meeting about this very same student first thing this morning, I return to my classroom to find said student with something he should NOT have at school. Now we’re not talking weapons or anything, but the point is, he shouldn’t have had it, and me asking him to put it in his backpack set him off. I ended up calling the office for assistance. The student calmed down without too much disruption within about 15 minutes, and was able to carry on with his morning. Battle won. The whole rest of the day however, I questioned whether I had handled the situation appropriately. I wondered if I had not asked him to put the item away, would he have gotten angry? If it had been a different child, would I have done anything different?
Well, I truly think I did the right thing, as the student ended up having a pretty decent day overall, and that’s what matters I suppose. As my son finishes up his lesson, I am going to try to relish this quiet time in the car. I think taking the time to reflect and debrief helps me to process these situations and be a more compassionate teacher in the process.