I have been posting as part of the Slice of Life writing challenge and I will be submitting this post but I feel like this is a post that has been incubating for a while and I just need it out.
The last few months I have been really hooked on the whole idea of connections and the power that we have to build relationships with our students and others when they feel connected to them in even the smallest of ways. As I worked today with different students and asked how they were doing the responses of course varied but a few were not having the best of days. The “everyone dislikes me”, or “I hate school”, or “I don’t like Poetry” or “Can you please go away?” All things I heard today. All things I am sure most teachers hear in the course of a day or week.
We spend so much time working to build those relationships, form those connections and even the slightest thing can take them off track and chipping away at what you have been working to build.
I think about a sandcastle. We sit and build and plan and dig and form and build some more, crafting a piece of art (classroom environment, students self-esteem, connections, apply the analogy to whatever you like) we sit back after the work and appreciate the beauty in the accomplishment but if we are not careful it does not last. Little by little a wave might creep in or the wind blows or even rain comes and that beautiful sandcastle begins to break away. If we are not careful, too much of these elements will crumble the sandcastle completely.
The events outside my control in the days of my students are those elements. The “other teacher” that made them mad, the friends that are acting less “friend-like”, the trouble at home whatever the case might be, it is not within my control, but something is.
I can be ready with that bucket and shovel, I can work to help all the kids with the bad days see that not every action is a wave, sometimes we just need to scoop a bit more sand into our bucket and start over. Today I hope we caught the castle before too much damage was done. Tomorrow we will find out.
I think I miss the beach but aside from a few waves, today castles were built.
3 thoughts on “Sandcastles”
I love the sandcastle metaphor for our job to lift/build/hold kids up while they feel like they are in the brink of collapsing into pieces. Thanks for sharing your slice!
A sandcastle is a perfect metaphor for out relationship with students. Your post is a reminder of how fragile our students are and how much care and support we need to offer them.
Nicely said! I do hope you were able to give that student or students a bit more sand to work with. I great metaphor to think about.