Role Play

I like to think that I’m pretty good at this teaching thing.  I can’t say that I’ve always felt so comfortable with my position.  Time and experience has played a huge role in how I teach and manage my classroom and students.  I didn’t learn it all from my college courses.

Role playing has taught me some lessons about myself.  Let me give you some examples:

I used to get so frustrated with my students who didn’t bring back homework the very next day, or who would come to school without required materials.  It wasn’t until my child left their homework on the kitchen table or I forgot to sign that important paper that was to be returned by a certain date, that I could better understand the role one of the many roles of parenting a school-aged child.

I have had friends and family members who have been diagnosed with illnesses and/or diseases that required many doctor visits, hospital stays, and more. It wasn’t until I had to have a biopsy done on a lump in my breast that I could understand the role of a patient, or the emotional drain of waiting for results and good (or bad) news while still trying to move through each day like normal.

I have friends and family members who have experienced the loss of a parent. However, it wasn’t until I experienced the loss of a parent that I could understand the role of a grieving child, the emptiness that it brings, and the time it takes to heal during the grieving process.

Here’s the lesson to be learned (spoken like a true teacher) – you don’t have to experience everything that everyone else experiences.  Be careful not to say that you understand what they’re going through because you don’t know what they’re going through if you haven’t experienced it for yourself.  Try not to give advice on how you would react to the situation.  Trying to tell a teacher what works at home for “Johnny” isn’t necessarily going to work for him (or the teacher) in a classroom with 23 other students.  Telling someone they should be happy because their loved one has gone home to be with the Lord may cause them to feel that their crying means they are not “acting Christian” enough.  It’s okay to cry!

Play the caring role.  Ask what you can do to help, and be willing to do it.  If help is not needed or wanted, just be there and pray.  Remember Job’s friends were the best friends in the world while they sat silently with him for 7 days and 7 nights, but then they just had to open their mouths!

Peace and Blessings! Thanks for letting me vent tonight. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Role Play”

  1. As a PW I never knew what to say to someone who had lost a loved one or who was having surgery or some other difficult time. Then the Lord brought to mind the verse that says “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” You’re so right to say that shared tears or hugs are so much better than platitudes and un-wanted advice. Thanks for sharing!

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