A principal has plenty of opportunities to interact, watch, and learn about the students that frequent their halls and classrooms. It is not uncommon for them to pop into classrooms for short visits, sit down at lunch tables, play outside at recess, and even chat in the halls as the students start their day. That is the best time to get wonderful hugs.
Students form bonds with you, you know who'll be smiling the moment they walk through the door, you know who's probably not eating breakfast, or who's mom buys hot cocoa every day from the nearest coffee shop. You see all their faces and learn their individual stories.
However, sometimes you get to know them for different reasons. Such as being sent to the office for misbehaving. Although it isn't fun, it allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the students.
Let me tell you a story. One young man always had a spring in his step, always willing to share his stories, give you a hug, or help you with any task you had for him. If you needed him, he was there. Whenever he told you a story, he was so enthusiastic that it was impossible not to get swept up in it. Unfortunately, he was also prone to being referred for behavior problems.
How could this be? How could he be sent to the office when he was so jovial, giving, and willing to please everyone? Although we tried, the public school system couldn't provide him with what he needed. The little guy had trouble focusing and paying attention. He struggled so much that the teacher requested that he be held back for a year in order to retake the class. Unfortunately, being a teacher can be very challenging at times...trying to differentiate for every student, communicating with every parent, and making every lesson so engaging that every student stays engaged. This doesn't include any requirements from the state, the federal government, or the district. Teachers strive to help their students, but at times it's easier to take the road that declares a child just "can't focus", "won't learn", "just doesn't listen", or "His parents won't do anything". The job is extremely demanding and hard... it wears you down.
The little boy had all the stereotypical "reasons" thrown at him, and school was hard for him. Watching a video, listening to the teacher, and doing homework for 30 minutes was difficult. On the bus, he struggled to sit still for the hour he had to ride home. He had behavior plans, extra breaks, positive reinforcements, etc. However, school continued to be difficult for him.
The first child I thought of when I decided to start Natural Connections Academy was this little boy. I learned from talking to his family that he was always helping his father or grandparents. Always busy. He helped measure things, he helped in the garden, he helped with chores, and he did not have the same problems at home that they were having at school. Well, sure. He was busy and not being told to sit down, be quiet, get your work done, or pay attention.
Is this your child? We are here to help.
We will be moving and outside as much as possible at Natural Connections Academy. We will be working on hands-on projects, creating solutions to problems, and learning about nature rather than just reading about it in a book. I am sure that this boy, as well as many others like him, would thrive in the type of nontypical classroom environment that Natural Connections Academy is going to provide.
Is this your child? Let us help.