taking on their pain

woman in black spaghetti strap top in bathtub
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The death of a father weighs on my shoulders,

The mother’s rejection and the alcohol problems,

They all tumble out, one after another

And they cling to my clothes, slowing me down,

Tiptoeing round in an effort to soothe

Problems that can’t mend, whatever I try.

I have always found behaviour management in the classroom a little bit tricky because I’m so soft. The kids like me but if I have a boisterous class they can sometimes walk all over me.

I thought that I would get better at this as time went on but I’m finding it harder and harder. It’s not because I’m getting any weaker, it’s because I’m getting to know the kids too well.

I have a bit of a rowdy Year 8 class and so I’ve had to go digging through their files and phoning parents and it’s uncovered details that I didn’t know before. The problem is that I now feel so sorry for them I don’t feel that I can shout at them.

I even went home after speaking to one of the parents and had a little cry. Being able to feel that intensely can be such a super power in teaching – but it can also make life so difficult, and painful.

I know that those kids will actually really rate me for enforcing the rules and setting boundaries in a world that is probably really overwhelming for them at times. But I still want to give them a hug and tell them that it’s all going to be OK.

Much Love

Rachel xx

10 thoughts on “taking on their pain

  1. Margot Kinberg

    I know exactly what you mean, Rachel. That happened to me, too, when I was teaching kids that age. But you are providing them with a safe classroom atmosphere, and part of that is setting expectations.

    1. patientandkindlove

      Yep, because unfortunately they don’t have that at home. I can only imagine how noisy their homes are though. Their parents must have no control – and they all have siblings so it could be double or triple the chaos!!!

  2. anotherkatewilson

    It might not seem nice, but sometimes you need to maintain emotional distance by offering sympathy, rather than experiencing empathy which hurts you. Compassion fatigue really is a thing.
    Hang in there. You’re doing a great job.

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