In this classroom they were studying butterflies. We began with a bare branch and added butterflies throughout the day. A beautiful transformation.

When I walk into a classroom as a substitute teacher I am stepping into a room full of HEARTS unknown to me, but they are hearts possible to imagine. 

In my mind when they see me I want them to feel cared for, which is a challenge when you are just meeting. I want to do my best to express my joy of being with them, my concern that each one of them has a successful day and I need to convey that as quickly as I can.

How do people show they CARE for you? I think effort, time and thought are three wonderful ways to show care. I am putting effort into doing something for you. I am spending time thinking about you. I am spending time with you. Those things show care. 

I bring something into the classroom that I have spent time putting together (activities, management ideas, lessons, etc…), while I was thinking of that class and I let them know I am happy to be spending time with them, that way I feel that I am putting my best caring foot forward.

I have been told, in different ways by different people, that I spend a lot of time getting ready for each class I go to. The first time I heard this I immediately felt embarrassed. I thought, “Am I spending too much time?” I am not sure why that is how I felt. Maybe because I have the time to do so and not everyone does? Maybe because it might seem silly to somebody else? 

I am fortunate to have the time and I love thinking of and creating different things to share with each class.

As this school year is coming to an end I am realizing that the children do notice the effort that I am putting forth and respond in a caring way. They have the most amazing reactions to my cardboard creations that I unfold out of my bag, which always makes me laugh and smile. They do their best to follow our guidelines to build a good day. They marvel at the finished product that we created together by the end of the day. We step back and feel joyful and even accomplished. “Look what we did today.” It wasn’t easy every minute, it was not perfect, but overall I hope they see success. 

I imagine each child at the end of the day feeling a spark of accomplishment and joy, and a peaceful HEART. That is what I strive for.

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