If you're a teacher, mom, grandma, babysitter, neighbor, older sibling or anyone else who works with children you know that children may challenge you from time to time. In fact children can bring out the worst in you too. I bet we can all think of an experience with our own children when we've said something we wish we had not said or acted in a way we wish we had not acted. I've had to apologize to my children now and then just as my parents apologized to me once in a while after they reacted when I got the best of them.
As educators there are always children who challenge us. They can challenge us in so many ways such as asking questions we can't answer, not following directions, talking back, breaking rules, hurting one another's feelings, taking a beloved object from another, or not telling the truth. These are common occurrences in schools and every child from time to time is a challenge.
Right now one goal I have is to really think deeply about a few child challenges staring me in the face, challenges that are new to me and challenges I haven't faced before. Overall these challenges are not overly dramatic or worrisome, but they are the kind of challenges that demand attention and resolve. I'll begin tackling those challenges by sitting down and talking to the students about why the challenges occur and what we might do to lesson or eliminate the challenge. We'll make a plan and then try it out. That's the first step.