Tuesday, March 20, 2018

To be Loved

I'm attempting to write everyday in March.Today is post 20 of 31.

I was born in 1974 which means Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was a fixture in my young life. I remember watching the show when I was small. I remember he was quiet, kind, but really I just watched it because it was fun and made me laugh.

It's only as I became an adult that I developed an appreciation of what Fred Rogers created with that show, what he stood for. I love how he believed in what he did, which you can see in his speech to Congress in 1969. I love how he put kids first.

Today a trailer was shared for a film coming out this summer called Won't You be My Neighbor? I cried as I watched it. Some quotes that stood out to me include:

I've always felt that I didn't need to put on a funny hat or jump through the hoop to have a relationship with a child.

Love is at the root of everything. All learning. All relationships. Love, or the lack of it.

Children have very deep feelings, just the way everybody does.

The greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving.

That last quote spoke directly to my heart. Today I was talking to a class of students. I told them I was struggling after learning some sad news about someone I love. My seventh graders, an age group many feel are only concerned about themselves and their friends, listened with compassion. Some murmured things like, "I'm so sorry, Mrs. S." I turned them loose to write their poems. As I turned my back on my class, putting some items up, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A boy stood before me with tears in his eyes and whispered how sorry he was to hear my news. He stared straight in my eyes as I looked back. I thanked him as he nodded and moved away. I think if I told most teachers that this kid had taken the time to come up and have that moment, they'd be shocked. I felt loved.

All of our kids need to understand that we love them and the potential that they have within. What I'm struck by the most in moving to middle school from elementary is the amount of kids I see giving up. Life has gotten harder since they were young. Mr. Rogers got this. His words, his looks, his tone, poured love through the camera right to us. I try hard to do that everyday in my classroom. When I'm lucky, that love comes straight back to me.

Here's the trailer. Enjoy!