Remember the teacher from Charlie Brown? “Wah, Wah, Wah.”
I know that’s what my students hear at times when I speak to them, and it can be frustrating. That’s why I feel that some of our students need someone besides their teacher to get through to them. A person who says the exact thing we say 600 times a day, but for some reason, they hear this “other” person.
A colleague signed up for a program called “Girls on the Run.” Their mission is “to educate and prepare girls for a life time of self-respect and healthy living.” I chose three of my students; one, who had just lost a loved one, and two who have had “issues” the entire school year.
The changes began when they were asked to be part of this program, at least for two of them. The excitement they felt was contagious, I was excited for them! Permission slips were signed that night and bought in the next day. After the orientation meeting, I was regaled with details about the program and what they would be doing. The behavior of one of them changed drastically after two meetings. She has, literally, not given me one problem since she joined. The one, who lost a loved one, is excited about life again.
I took my colleague aside to share my excitement, and told her I was still a little worried about one of my chosen girls. Her attitude really showed no change, it stayed the same, lip poked out, huffs, puffs, eyes rolled. We figured it would just take her a little more time, and hoped for the best.
The following day, I am not making this up, as we walked down the hallway, this particular student smiled at me, and said, “Mrs. Mims, Mrs. F. told us that we have a negative and positive core, her hands demonstrated her words, “She said to take out the negative core and put in the positive core.”
I said, “Do you plan to do that?”
She responded, “Yes, and if I forget, G. (one of the other girls in the program) will pull it out for me.” They beamed at each other, heads nodding affirmatively.
There’s also a essay contest sponsored by Secret. All 15 girls in the program agreed to participate in the contest! I willingly offered my help, because win or lose, they are putting themselves out there. One of them told me, she already knows what she’s going to do with the money she wins.:)
I wish all our kids could have access to programs like this. I realize it won’t work with all of them. But the ones it does reach, it would make such a difference in their lives, and in our classrooms. Imagine the impact these types of programs would have on our students, emotionally, socially, mentally, spiritually, and physically. All aspects of their life would be challenged to grow. My girls will run a 5K race with Girls on the Run on June 4. I know they can do it, and I will be there, cheering them on!