Monday, October 29, 2012

Drawing the line between home and school


We are settling in to sit out the coming storm. I'm enjoying having two extra days to cuddle with my little one, and I am trying desperately to not spend the whole time making mental lesson plans when I should just be enjoying Little Lipstick.

Sadly, though, apparently school, my students and their goals are all I think about. 

I bounce back and forth from applying what I'm teaching in school to Little Lipstick and then just out-right planning what I can do with my students using her books.

We've got two uncut large pumpkins, one small pumpkin and a board book about pumpkins. While Little L likes to roll the pumpkins around our floor and bang on them I find myself teaching a big/little lesson, drawing connections between the pumpkin in the book and the real live pumpkins. Who knows maybe later we'll get orange paint and paint our own pumpkins and talk about same and different. Won't this be great when we get back to school? The amount of IEP goals and objectives I can get out of this would be huge.

I am a monster and I must be stopped! Poor Little L is blessed with two days with her mommy and daddy and all her mommy can do is use her as practice for lessons to teach when we're back at school.

And then there is her fabulous collection of board books. So many of her books are very appropriate for some of my kiddos this year. I find myself thinking, "Perfect! I've been struggling with this but this book is the perfect example of teaching x. It is even interactive and lets the reader touch the soft sheep wool."
Yes, I keep fighting with myself over whether I'm going to take Little L's favorite board books in and let my students get their big-kid hands all over them.

I need to be stopped.

It's hard to reconcile sometimes because in many ways my students need the books more than Little L. She has lots of books. But I don't want her growing up thinking she is coming in second to my job. I don't want her thinking that she isn't as important as the children I teach or my work. I don't want her feeling like she needs to act out or have a disability in order to get my attention. I know this is a long way off, but I want to build a solid foundation with her of being present with her when we have those brief few hours together. Being a working mom is tough and when we only get to be together a little bit everyday I want her to know that she is important.

When she's older we'll talk about how she can donate her toys to my classroom for kids in need. But right now, even though she doesn't understand ownership I want to respect the fact that her books belong to her. They really aren't mine to take to school. 

Maybe because if I don't make a conscious effort to draw a line between home and school I know that school will take over home. I know myself and my work ethic enough to know that unless I purposely stop myself from working I never will, which will benefit the students in my class, but not my own family.

It's a fine line. Trust me, I've already ruined Little L's copy of Good Night Gorilla because I've taken it to school (OK, BOTH of her copies have been donated to school). All of her Llama, Llama books have been taken to school and are now well-loved. I'm fighting like crazy to not take in her pigeon stuffed animal because I know when she's older she'll want that pigeon to herself. (But my retelling center needs that pigeon).

So I'm going to pray that we survive the storm, work on shutting my school-brain off and just enjoy having two extra days of cuddling and playing with my own daughter.

1 comment:

The Science Goddess said...

My parents have told me many stories of how they took "my" money when I was a baby/small child. They felt very guilty for using the milk funding the government provided so they could get food for themselves (dad was in grad school...mom didn't work...not a lot of cash). But, even had I been aware of what they were doing, I can't believe I would have minded. It's totally okay to want to respect boundaries and establish personal from other, but if you have something to share, then why not? Think of all little L is gaining because of the experiences you have with students.

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