There's a lot of talk about students ' absence in schools. I write to the student about presence.
This is a text for you, pupil. Too many people are talking about you. So now I choose to speak to you. Because I have faith that you have it in you: You are to be grown and accountable. Hopefully a little more sense than what we adults have managed to be. The world needs it.
I'm talking to you because I have faith in you. After all, I'm talking to you every day. All year long. Therefore, I know that you are first of all wise and sensible. Humor you have too. But parts of you have a lot of absence. Most people agree that students with large absences have a harder to finish high school. And it all wants you to. Most people also agree that you should be with me. We just disagree on what it is for you to choose to be.
But now I don't want to talk about absence. I want to talk about the presence. About "attentive presence" even. Because I know it's hard. To be present. Note. Stay focused throughout the school day. But that's what it's all about. that you're there. That you are mindful. And with a little steady effort every day, this ability can be trained. I can help you with that. Give you tips and advice on how. Create situations where it is possible to achieve it. But the actual exercise you have to do yourself. One can lead a horse to the water. But you can't force it to drink.
I'm media. and media teacher. I'm going to tell you about the social and ethical rules of the press. Nerd as I am I want you to look at how Facebook and Google change the Norwegian media landscape, the media economy and the way that we citizens get our information in a democracy. That's why I'm talking about it in class. of the distribution principle. The Fourth Estate. and about Parliament rice but.
But when I do this, it happens that you fall off the bandwagon. There are other things happening to you that are more important than all of this. That's why I have had many conversations with you. About your social anxiety. Your difficult parents. Your friends who don't understand you. Your illness. All the various reasons why you are not going to my lessons. Diagnoses. Experiences.
and I care. Believe it or not, but I am a human being and what you tell touches me.
I know that in order for you to manage to think of some of the things I have to convey, you have to feel safe. It is not easy to learn something if you are afraid, sad and sorry. Everybody gets it. So I hear you out. Trying to do my best. Give the good advice I have. After all, I'm an educator and relationship worker. But I'd rather want us to spend my hours focusing on Parliament rice while introduction to 1884 and the emergence of party pressure rather than your father being a fool.
Too many times I've fallen short. For a while it was so hard for me that I got sick of it. It is ashamed for me to tell this. But it was too much for me. I was awake at the nights thinking about you. No matter how I stretched, I didn't stretch. What I did was not enough. I called you every day. Woke you. My colleagues thought that it was madness. And that's it. Once, I was in contact with your friend, during the winter break, because you had cut contact with the doctor and health sister and all, when you should be entering for treatment. Then you were seriously ill. Luckily, you listened to us back then. I'm glad I spent time on you, even if I had a walk. But all this commitment-in you-and you're not one-but several at once-you're many-over several years-made that I got sick. Did you know? That a teacher can also get sick? Have you laughed at your teacher who clicked sometimes? Who is confused, who has no overview, which seems tired? As stutters, tribes, do not remember names? Have you looked at your teacher as weak and bad because she loses her grip when there is too much noise in class? Well. I'm one of those. I've been there. It wasn't fun. Not for me.
-Stress related depression, said the doctor. -I don't want to talk about my past, I told the psychologist. I just want to know how I avoid being left awake about the nights and thinking about what I can do to get facilitated my teaching so my students come and actually want to be aware present in my hours. I want to know what to do that my students don't put their heads down on their desk and sugars heavily over that I want to talk about the press's social role.
-All days are not sunny days, the psychologist said. There are days that are gray. They need us to live with, and then we have to find ways to live with them on that make sure they don't color our whole being gray. -but everyone believes that the solution to all the absence is that it must be meaningful to come and it is my job to make the subject alive. I have to get better, I told the psychologist. I told you, but I can't. There is always something that is more important to students. The hardest part is competing with "free", I said. My students will always be free. It seems like they are feeling trapped in my presence. They cheer if I strike for more time for them, and they strike against the limits of absence. There is something very sad about just that. I said, "I haven't asked to be a prison guard." I want to be a teacher.
What I learned was that in order to be a teacher I must be able to take care of myself and support myself to counselor and school health services. Therefore, I wish that the politicians should allocate more money to such functions in school. For as an educator and relationship worker, I am no therapist or doctor. I can't believe I'm going to fix everything. I need to understand that all this is happening to you is not my responsibility. I have to ask you to seek help somewhere else, with someone who can this better than me. Maybe I have to ask you to wait to go to school until you get well enough. School is a school, not a treatment institution. We can facilitate and adapt but not at the expense of the subject. Pretend you've learned something even if you don't have it to embellish your waiver statistics. And then I have to do my best to make you understand that even if you're young, you still have a responsibility for yourself. Sometimes you choose "free" and then you can't simultaneously achieve everything you can achieve in my presence. You may be eighteen years old, and you should be able to vote by choice. Society believes that you can something about Parliament rice but. Some people believe that you are adult enough to vote by choice already when you are sixteen years of age. Then I should be allowed to have certain expectations. If you've agreed to come to my hours, you have to come.
-You have to prioritize, the psychologist said. -You can't be Ernas dream teacher even if the rest of the community expects it from you. Or the teacher who appeared in a video when Kristin Halvorsen was the minister, when Stryker's orchestra and actors popped out from the equipment cabinet. -That's not your reality, so the psychologist. You must be who you are and do your best. Don't judge yourself so hard. Meet yourself with friendly, non-judicial acceptance. and get support from the other adults in school-colleagues, health sister, counselor, Head of department, principal. Support them where you can and ask for help where you think they can help you.
No, no man is an island, I said. I've read that once.
But then I learned some techniques. Coping methods. And I took further education to learn more about them. I paid everything together myself and it was not free. But it was worth it. Now I can a lot about techniques to stop the mind-spinning. Techniques for observing my own mind's mood as I enter the classroom. Understand my own irrational reactions. Because you've seen me: amps and annoyed and sharp in my voice. A little sarcastic. Like you were the one who did something wrong. I entered the room with all the spikes out. And then we started. Your defense work was activated. I was already in combat mode, only because I had already fought with another class. That didn't have to do with you.
There's talk of simple grip. Now I have, for example, begun to breathe three times on the road from one hour to the other. After all, I have ten minutes. Minus the three that go with that someone is asking me about something at the end of the hour. And so is my goal – which I simply don't when so all too often – being there 2 minutes before to unlock. But between there-during the five minutes somewhere-I try to breathe, to reset myself, to go into the room where you sit, with an open mind, without prejudice. Retrieve the friendliness you need. that we both need. To be learning we must have a good learning climate. A good working environment. It's not done with simple grip. It requires an attitude change and it has not been easy turning his/her own mood from sick to motivated. But it's all possible. And it's worth it. There, you also play a role.
The change enables me to see that it is more positive than negatively related it to be with you. Because it's fun to be with you. Especially when you engage, invest in the subject and offer yourself. Comes prepared for the hour and challenges me. You know how much fun we have when we share our professional pleasure. How good it is when I see that you are a person who has something to come by. So I'm working consciously to not focus on the things that are annoying by you, and that can make me mighty frustrated. That still makes me mighty frustrated. I've only learned to live with the frustration and not let it take all the way over.
And I've learned that it's okay to let you know. Set limits. Boundaries for you. For School Management. School bureaucrats. Politicians. Who wants me to handle this much. Your parents. Your psychologist. That expects me to pay attention to just you-the individual-and who does not understand that you are part of a group. A collective. Student Collective. There are really quite a few that seem to understand that my task is to see you as a group, a community, and that my job is dealing a lot about teaching you that you are going to work in conjunction with others. You should be able to pay attention to others. Working with people you don't fit so well with actually, the same way we adults need to. I haven't chosen my colleagues. My job is getting it to work even though we are different and have different opinions. Because we are a school community. That's what being colleagues is going out on. I want you to learn to work with your student colleagues. But this is to belong in a group, a college, it seems it is not so important in the public debate. The attitude is that teachers should only adapt everything to know individual. Colleagues have experienced that you have come with your lawyer and coach and had greater expectations of the school than to yourself. that your role in relation to the others is irrelevant to them. Or that psychologists have called and expected the rules not to apply to you. That because you are ill you should not put down into behavior because you did something hurt against another student. Because the bad behavioral character will hurt you. And I understand that. But the social mission to US teachers is to put these grades. We can't just stop doing our job because your psychologist asks us to. Or your mother. Or your father, who speaks to me with strict voice in the phone. Limits must be set. Even if you get a rinse bucket, that means you have to crawl down the nurse's office for a little debriefing. Do not think that such rinse buckets do not touch me. they do. But I have taught me the techniques and methods to withstand it. Although it is unreasonable and unfair. For just because it is unreasonable I must not let me break off such things. Therefore, I need methods to withstand standing in it even if it stings. So I can do something about it.
These are also techniques I'm thinking you might benefit from. Methods that make you better at withstanding the pressure. Because I know it's hard. Trying is scary. Presentations in front of the class equally so. School life has demanding tasks. You're going to experience injustice, too. But the solution is not to shadow the path, drop samples and presentations or tasks. It's not even possible to finish school without graduation. It's not really possible to learn something without putting himself down and putting work down in the subject. They have deceived you, those who want you to believe that everything is going to come a breeze without you exerting yourself because it is my task to entertain you. But you should not worry about the work is hard. For It is so that when you really strive, then it is because that now it happens something new. Learning is not just game. It's hard mental work. It is so that the more you exert yourself, the more you learn. What happens in the classroom is learning work. You're the one who's going to work. My job is to lead the work. We're not going anywhere unless we do the job. By all means: Sometimes it's as fun to work as dancing. Especially if we decide to try. But other times it's not. Work needs to be done anyway. Just as your room needs to be cleared, the dishwasher must be emptied, the clothes washed. Or that your parents have to go to work also the days they don't want. Or get up in the morning even if it feels meaningless, because they don't have a job. That's when we get pretty far with a piece of kindness. A smile. Something that makes the gray days not only become gray. It's about understanding that when we're there, it means something to others. Your presence and your attention are not just about you. It's about us.