Listening to My Self

Over the last year I have worked REALLY hard at listening to my body: its pain cues, it’s happiness cues, it’s anxiety cues. I am also a parent who does not immediately get involved in my daughter’s situations because I feel it is important for her to take care of her own struggles as much as she can. When I do get involved it is after tons of thought and reflection about my motivation to get involved. 

This week I made the decision, after listening to my daughter and paying attention to my own cues, to get involved with something an adult in her life was doing to several kids to put them in what I perceived as an unsafe situation. While I approached this person to try to handle it in person, this did not work and the behavior continued. So I emailed this person and their boss- not something I do lightly. 

But my baby’s safety was at risk, so after reflecting around the anxiety cues my body and my daughter sent, I felt it was necessary. 

Why is it so hard for me to do this? As a teacher I have been at the receiving end of unhappy emails. I have had parents angry with me. But that is not the point. 

How do we, teachers, react to unhappy or maybe even angry emails? Do we reply compassionately? Do we take time to move from the defense and really try to figure out the underlying problem?

So often when parents are angry at teachers, they are really frustrated with their kids. In the heat of the moment this is REALLY hard to remember. My practice has been to reflect on what the actual issue might be and then respond from that place. If I can’t figure it out on my own, I will make the call and listen carefully to whatever I can do to be helpful. 

What do you do?

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