Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teachers Are Human

I tend to be an emotional person at times, especially when it comes to tears. It's been worse for the last few years.

Certain movies (The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, The Lion King, etc.) all make me cry. It gets old after a while and I really try to not do it, but it just HAPPENS.

This morning I was doing a literature lesson with a group of second graders. I had to introduce a book to them, read it aloud and discuss it, read it aloud again, then do an activity related to the book.

There are many different adaptations of the book The Velveteen Rabbit, and the one that I used today came with the reading program I'm using.

In the version I read to my group today, a little boy receives a stuffed rabbit as a gift and it becomes his constant companion. The little boy left it outside one evening and during the night, went out to retrieve it. He dried it off and slept with it as usual. Several months later, the little boy got sick and he had a dream that the rabbit would become real. At the end of the book, he took the rabbit into the woods and left it so that it could become real and be friends with other real rabbits.

As I read about the little boy placing his beloved rabbit in the woods, then turning to leave, and trying to be so brave as his rabbit became real... I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and my voice was quivering. That's when I warned the kids that things like this make me cry. I got a tissue in case the tears spilled over. When I turned the page and read that the little boy would occasionally return to the woods to see his rabbit, that pretty much did me in.

I had a group of four girls and one boy, and none of them cried.

When I finished the book, I told the children that I cry at movies and books (don't EVEN let me get started on Nicholas Sparks' books) but I was fine. I didn't want to scare them. Then I sort of laughed it off as we began to discuss the story. After that, I needed to read it aloud for them again. I told them that this time I might be able to get through it okay.

Hahaha...not quite. Although it wasn't as bad the second time through, there were still tears.

I think that it's good for children to see that their teachers (and other adults in their lives) have emotions. We're not all so "tough" inside that we can't let our feelings show through. Although some may disagree with me, I feel that it's important for these children to see that as adults, we can be vulnerable too.

While they did the activity related to the book, one little girl said, "It's okay Mrs. *******. I cry at lots of things too." That was so sweet of her to say. I thanked her for understanding, then continued to help them with the activity.

If nothing else, it cannot be said that I DON'T follow my lesson plans (even if the lesson makes me cry)!


Leeann said...

Nice new background!

Oh Lord, that book makes me cry too. As well as The Giving Tree, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Pinballs, The Outsiders, Marley and Me... and the list goes on and on!

edbteach said...

I am also a cry baby! I cry when I get emotional - which is often!!

Commercials, movies, songs, etc.

I cannot read Bridge to Terebithia without bawling like a baby.

PERBS said...

Join the club . . . I think there are lots of us that shed many a tear reading books like these. Have you read The jester has Lost His Jingle???? If not, do so.

Terre said...

Too cute Cindi, isn't it funny how kids don't think teachers are human? With four kids in evidently there were friends of theirs that had me as a teacher. One day one of my students was at my house with my son and I dropped and broke a dish and an expletive (sh-t) blurted out of my mouth and I didn't realize he was in the next room until I heard " I KNEW IT, I KNEW TEACHERS SWORE WHEN THEY WEREN'T AT SCHOOL!" I guess he had been waiting to prove that theory and I was caught.

Anonymous said...

I loved your story. Kids do need to see real human emotions from grown-ups.