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Building Community: A Slice of Life Story

23 Sep

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Week four of school. We’ve been together for 15 days and our community is coming together. I’ve done the obvious teacher things that build community, but I’m thinking today about the more subtle things that help build community. Yesterday I saw a girl really smile for the first time when we celebrated her birthday. I’ve had to have a couple of heart to heart talks with kids about homework mostly, but about a few other things, too. I am an introvert and non-confrontational  by nature, but can have conversations with kids that ‘d never have with adults.

One little girl has been worrying me and I’m bringing her to our school wide CAT team, where we discuss kids who are struggling in some way.    CAT is a new acronym and I can’t remember what it stands for, probably because I am a dog person. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. She has friends and is at grade level in everything but hasn’t been doing her homework. I’ve known he since she was in first grade and this behavior isn’t what I expected. We’ve had a couple of talks and things haven’t improved. I called home and left messages, but Mom hasn’t contacted me. I spoke with her 3rd grade teacher and when I told her about the homework issue, her eyes popped and said that was a red flag. Mom tends to be depressive and this girl is definitely a glass half empty sort of girl. I decided then she was definitely on my CAT list.

She got her homework done this weekend and looked pleased with herself. I made sure she knew I was pleased, too. I think I’m getting her on board, making her feel part of the community. This is just one of the conversations I’ve had, but every one of these builds community because they know someone cares.

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