Day 19: Just a Conversation

Just this week I volunteered to help out during the lunch hour in our school cafeteria. I was very against this at the beginning of the year seeing as I did it all year last year and it was 0% fun. Loud kids screaming across the gymnasium, sauce spilling everywhere, sticky packets to open from even stickier little hands, and too. much. garbage. Count me OUT.

But then of course, plea after plea I finally caved. I decided I’d work in the cafeteria until the end of the year. Pray for me.

Today was only day two but I’ve already learned one very valuable thing. The kids that make the most noise, the most mess, and are the most demanding, want and need the most love. They crave just a conversation. A conversation with an adult who, for just a minute, can take an interest in them as more than the “problem child.” Some of my most treasured relationships in this building are my relationships with the kiddos who throw the most tantrums and are sent to the office most frequently. Now, granted, I don’t teach these students all day every day so I don’t pretend to know what it’s like hour after hour in a small classroom with these students who demand attention however they can achieve it. But I do have the lunch room. I do have time for minute conversations. I can give them that.

Who comes to mind when you think of “problem child” or “problem friend”? What can you do differently? Can you spare just a conversation?

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6 thoughts on “Day 19: Just a Conversation

  1. I’m glad you were able to turn a yucky job into something more valuable. 🙂 I’m sorry you keep getting stuck with that job though. Nobody likes getting stuck with extra supervision duty! Better luck next year!

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  2. The best part of talking to kids (beyond making a potentially huge difference in their lives with that connection) is the hilarious stuff they say! There’s no way you can leave without a smile on your face. 🙂

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  3. Honest- sticky fingers and garbage!
    But your goodness shines through, and I agree you can help with those short conversations. I just read in another post today (forget which one) about a 2X10 rule. Take a child you have a difficult time with, and everyday for 10 days have a 2 minute conversation with them about them (not teaching.). Sounds powerful, doesn’t it?!

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  4. It all comes back to connections, doesn’t it? I love the 2×10 rule that Fran referenced and am going to tuck that in my pocket. I also like your reminder that it just takes a minute to connect and make a difference. Lunch duty is not on my list of favorite things either…but maybe I’ll approach it differently next time. Thanks!

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