This is the famous quote from Tom Hanks character in the baseball movie A League of Their Own… about girls playing the game of baseball during the war.
What a classic line. The humor in it for the movie was good, but let's examine it in the ordinary elementary classroom.
Kids cry. I know, because I've been witness to it hundreds of times. They also, scream, punch, pinch, throw-up… but that's a blog for another time.
Let's flashback to a scene that is fairly commonplace in the elementary classroom … on the 1st day of school.
Emotions run high, children are super excited to meet their teacher, find out which friends are in their room, and what they're going to learn about … and then they realize … that they're leaving summer behind, their home, their dog … their MOM!
The waterworks flow when they turn the corner and see the very tall 3rd grade teacher standing before them, and she screams … "Noooooo. I don't want to go to school. I want to go home. I want to stay with you, Mommy!!! Nooooooooo."
[Insert sobs uncontrollably here]
I'm sure that this scene has probably played out for most teachers at some point in their career, as it did for me back in 2003.
What would YOU do? (or what DID you do?)
Well, what I did was used my humor, and feel for the situation … to try and make the little girl feel at home in our classroom.
So I asked her what her name was… and made a really big deal about her last name. I proceeded to say it over and over, elongating some of the letters and enunciating certain ones as well. (It seems like just yesterday that I was doing this, too)
And it worked.
She had a great year in our class, finding her niche, applying for jobs, doing the jobs… and she loved it.
Fast forward 12 years… and that little third grade girl that cried the 1st day of school… served me coffee in the drive-thru at a local coffee shop recently… with a HUGE smile on her face.
And do you want to know what I said?
Her last name…. just like I did on that first day of school back in 2003.
How cool is that?
I constantly am amazed at the Power that we have as teachers to shape lives… and this program that I've run in our classroom for 20 years, has provided countless students with the opportunity to feel comfortable, find themselves as a person, and to want to learn.
What a novel idea.
Even though we had a small transaction with that coffee, we have that special bond of a relationship … all because of a normal human emotion, that we should embrace, and not deny… so that our students can find themselves.
So the answer to Tom Hank's question should be...
"Yes. I am crying. I'm scared. Please help me feel comfortable in your classroom!"
Not a problem. The POWERFUL Program can help.
And it has… for the last 20 years.