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Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My New Cracked Pots


I'm in the midst of the second week of school and I'm already home with a sick child today.  The upside is that I am able to post my SOL before 10 pm.  I am also cautiously optimistic that my daughter is finally on the upswing...she's been playing with her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse toys for the last hour and is thoroughly enjoying having the house and mommy to herself today.

I have been a bit absent from my writing world for the last month or so.  I've been able to sneak in a couple things but with the start of school for myself and three of my four children...well, it's been busy.  I've missed it!

I have been watching my new crop of kindergarten students closely during our time together.  I am optimistic about the year ahead with them.  I have an interesting mix of students this year that should keep me challenged, laughing and learning. ( For a little extra challenge, I also have a student teacher on board for the first semester who is awesome!)  My mix of kiddos includes everything from immature four-year-olds to mature six-year-olds and everything in between.  I have children with ADHD and those I suspect have it, children with speech and language issues, a child with a significant hearing loss, children who like to talk (with loud voices!), children who hardly talk when asked a question in a one-to-one setting, a child who struggles not to cry in the morning, a child who thinks she can walk home whenever she feels like it (and doesn't bother to let anyone know before leaving), children with severe food allergies, children who know all of the alphabet letters, children who barely know their names, children who live with two adults in a stable home, children who don't know from day to day how they are getting home, children who can count to 100 and recognize numbers and children who think numbers and letters are all the same thing.  I have a pretty typical class.  I have a class that likes to play and have fun...and they have no idea that they are learning at the same time!

I have been watching their interactions with each other.  I have been watching their smiles.  I have been watching to learn their interests.  I have been telling stories with them.  I have been reading with them.  I have been helping them make new friends and giving them the time to do it.  We had a good first week and have approached the second week with a good attitudes.

As I was reading my email recently, I came upon an email from my sister about the "Cracked Pot."  Initially, I read it as a sentiment from one sibling to another.  Then I read it as something I wanted to share with teaching friends at the beginning of a new school year.  Finally, I read it as a teacher who is getting to know her new students.  I look forward to learning more about my new "cracked pots" each day and I am trying very hard to be positive as I look for the unique flaw in the children that are harder to connect with; that unique thing that I can use as a tool to build connections. 

I tried to find an author for the story of the "Cracked Pot" but only could find that it was an anonymous source.  If anyone knows a name for the author, please let me know so I can give proper credit.  I had to share it anyway.  Enjoy and have a great school year!

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. 

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. 'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.' The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?' 'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.' For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.