Today was fairly productive; however, I am turning in a little earlier tonight. I took a little break and went to the "Fall" Festival at my son's school. It was supposed to take place several weeks ago, but was canceled due to a storm that never took place. I cannot believe how freezing it was. My son ran around with his friend in the freezing cold with no worries...so cute to watch!
I saw a bunch of teacher's I hadn't seen in a while and I kept getting asked, "Are you working this year?" As if taking some time for other things besides teaching was a crime (although, I do miss it). So, I decided that every time I was asked I would make up a new way too answer the question. I admit I had a little fun. I got to see my 7th grade students from last year (now in eighth grade) and I felt so bummed after having a huge group of boys run up and talk to me as if I wasn't that uncool. I felt so horrible that I couldn't remember a few of the boys' names. I am not really good at remembering names, especially kids from the other teacher teams, so I often make up nick-names for some of the kids with more difficult names and tonight, I couldn't even remember a students' nick-name! I felt so bad watching his excitement go from extreme joy to a hint of disappointment when I couldn't remember the nick-name I had given him, which had apparently had a positive impact on him. I realized how important the teacher-student relationships really are to children. Some of the boys I hadn't even had in my classes, but they remembered me and really wanted me to remember their names.
I felt so good knowing that I had connected with those students after all (-: I love to get to know my students even though there isn't a great deal of time in middle school. I devoted to having lunch with the kids once a week and taking time in-between classes and before and after school to listen and find their strengths, which I could later use to motivate them in class for writing. I can't believe I couldn't remember not a single name tonight!!! Actually, that is a lie, I didn't remember two names (Lathan and ???) I still can't remember it even after he reminded me (oh Lord, I dread what my memory will be like as I get older...YIKES!). I had given Lathan the nick-name, Sneezy, because he would get these huge sneezing fits and I always felt so bad for him. I would always just tell him, "God bless you a thousand times" (and yes, I said God...apparently a curse word in some public schools; depending on the administration). I think his feelings were hurt because of my bad memory...I just want to cry!
New Goal, practice remembering peoples' names by my old technique..
1. Hear the name
2. Make sure to look at the person's facial details
3. Repeat the name back to the person
4. write the name down
5. Try my hardest not to forget, and if I do...don't refer to them as, "Hey, you!"
I can remember each one of my Kindergarten students' names of the four years I taught teaching Kinder, but somehow, I lose track in middle school...go figure! I remembered the names of the kids who got in trouble, but I couldn't remember the honor student, Lathan (Sneezy), I really hope I didn't hurt his feelings; although, I am an expert when it comes to reading people's emotions and body language and my experience tells me that I did hurt his feelings. Am I the only 30 year old (okay, I'm 32 - but I round to the nearest number for crying out loud) that can't remember names well?
Well, I am not so sure I can sleep now...but I think I am ready to try (-:
The 3AM Teacher