Blog Archive

11.09.2010

all I ever wanted, all I ever needed, is here in my arms.

words are very
unnecessary
they can only do harm. --

oh the depress-mode of depeche-mode, how I love thee.

In these past weeks of absorbing my surroundings, and observing the ways of the world, it has become clear that kindness is a learned behavior.

I've seen this demonstrated in adults, but more so in a negative fashion...because...verbally abusive and emotionally abrasive behaviors are also learned.

But, in spying on my favorite teacher from my second floor windows, I've noticed that his students have transformed from rough-around-the-edges...whiners/complainers (I know EXACTLY who their previous teacher was)...
into really kind-hearted children that smile a lot and support each other.

many of his students come into my room for recess just to draw or to chat-it-up with ms. patterson...
and, as I get to know them more, I *really* get to see the impact teachers have on shaping the confidence, tolerance, and demeanor of their students.

The brash, laid-back "I don't give a fuck" attitude trickles down to the students at the same flow-rate as the happy, smiley, "I work hard, and take my job seriously" attitude does.

And, the "I yell at you to listen" thing which teachers (and adults) always do to students and children, also travels down, too.
It kinda dawned on me today, while talking with another teacher (who almost prefers to raise his voice at the students,) that yelling is basically ...scaring...a child into learning.
 Which, in my opinion, is a sure-fire way to teach them the opposite.

But, I see so many people doing that.

In thinking back to when I was in school, I hated it when my teachers yelled, because 1) I wasn't always a trouble-maker, therefore the sudden JOLT of hearing a booming voice commanding orders was like a mini-heart attack each time.
and 2) I ended up hating certain years in elementary.
I can name the "bad years"
--I hated 1st grade because mr. chang used to yell at us ALL of the time for like NO reason.
--I actually called my 2nd grade teacher a "bitch" (extended vocab, I know, but I have an older sister who, at the time, listened to NWA every morning...so I picked up a colorful vocab by age 8)
Anyway, I didn't say it to her face. I told one of my "friends" who told the teacher on me...(lol)

And she called me up in front of the whole class and asked me "why" I called her that, I responded with: because you're so mean! you're always yelling at students (and right at that moment, another student came up to ask to use the bathroom and she yelled at him to sit down....and I looked her dead in the eye and said..."see....you're mean"
I can CLEARLY remember hating my whole time in second grade, and wishing I got into another class, because i obviously was stuck in a class where the teacher hated her life, and therefore hated all of the children.

3rd grade, was one of the best years because i had one of the nicest teachers in the whole world. I think I only remember her yelling once, and when she did, everyone pretty much died inside, because NO ONE wanted her to get that upset. 
*I was also student of the month twice in the 3rd grade...*

4th grade was a joke. My teacher was way too concerned with her appearance and trying to be...attractive...that she ended up getting a stye in her eye which ended up getting infected. She basically had a left eye that was half blood filled (like a dead-fish eye) and any time she looked at one of the students, it was like insta-nightmare. 
I literally have no memories of the 4th grade, other than the stye eye....and that my english teacher called my house 9 times because i didn't do homework. After the 4th call home, who's fault is it really?

5th grade was the year I shined like a brand new penny. I had the best teacher, who took care of herself and was really put together, but more so...she was really organized and clear. I remember thinking she was like....a friend but in an adult body. On top of that she has a student teacher, ms. kishaba who like REALLLLLLLLLLLLLY cared about all of the students. The first time I ever really expressed emotion and cried because i was "sad" was when ms. kishaba left.
Ms. bacungan, my 5th grade teacher rarely ever yelled. she was strict, but...somehow, it wasn't a big deal, but I remember thinking...she cared about her class. Which was a complete and total opposite from the previous year where the teacher only cared about herself...

what's interesting though, is i remember ms. bacungan really focusing on friendship, and even reading us a book "nothing's fair in the fifth grade" which was about the bonds and friendships which were created in the 5th grade...
and it's no big surprise that I remember having such a good connection with all of my classmates. it was in that class that me and my best friend (of 18 years) started hanging out... hmm.


6th grade was the first time I understood and internalized the unfairness of favoritism. My teacher was basically in love with one of my classmates, and pushed her--and only her--really hard because, duh, ms. miyasato (my teacher) obviously saw potential in this particular student, but....in a class filled with 90% could've-beens..only one student, the  lovely "mieko" got the application and the teacher recommendation for Punahou (which she ended up getting into, with a full scholarship for intermediate and high school) It's hard not to feel gypped, even though, in going through the yearbook of my mind, I probably wasn't THE best student, it's a strange feeling to know an opportunity you never really had was lost.  Needless to say, 6th grade wasn't a favorite for me either...

So what is the point of this long recollection of things? 
I guess, it's that teachers make- or - break your opportunities in terms of school.
Of course, having a strong family with people who love and support you at home makes 1000000000000000000000000000 % the difference, both inside the classroom and out.

But, in working in a school setting, I can see little spirits being lifted by some really great teachers
who see to focus on kind-loving approaches to learning...
and I can also see little spirits being broken DOWN by other good teachers who  see school as being a place of rigid learning, who feel that giving kids jolts snaps them into the learners corner. 

I'm in no place to judge, but...we were all kids once, and from our own memories we can see which way worked best for us.

anyway,
kindness is the key to the better memories, and with that said...
i love you all.
and...to you, great teacher: i think you're neato, mosquito.

**winnie

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