If you do not love them, you cannot teach them. If you cannot teach them, they cannot learn. Therefore, if you do not love them, they cannot learn. — Mamie Kuykendall
About 15 years ago while living in Mississippi, I tutored for an afterschool program. Though our focus was homework completion with academic enrichment, this math teacher also concentrated on helping students develop better communication skills by encouraging the use of proper English.
You see, Southerners love us some prepositions.
Dogs lie up under porches, children run on over to the neighbor’s house, and folks live right down over yonder.
Regardless, I tried my best to model and teach the use of proper English.
One of my students was Anthony who as a seventh grader had demonstrated a particular talent for the trumpet. Every day immediately after completing his work, he would practice his music while sitting in the office that opened into our classroom.
One day, while playing his usual trumpet exercises, a fellow student decided she wanted to join Anthony and asked, “Can I go off up in there?”
Before I could offer any correction in regard to her prepositional plethora other than to suggest the use of proper English, another classmate, eyes rolling and head shaking, chided her in loud exasperation, “Guuurl, don’t. you. know. nothin’??? It’s MAY I go off up in there!”
We all have seasons in our lives when we feel like we have been dug up and tossed aside. I am thankful to have friends and family who care enough about me to pick me up when this has happens and help place me back in my container or even into a new container where I can continue to thrive and bloom.
Our kids deserve that same type of support. They may not know how to tell us they feel like they have been dug up, let alone tossed, but as their parents and teachers, as the ones who care, it is up to us to be there when our kids need to be replanted.
Kids deserve to bloom.