A colleague of mine started a book club for educators in our school. We read the book “The boy who was raised as a dog” which takes you on the journey of various stories from the child psychiatrist, Bruce D. Perry. The book group involved seven to eight educators discussing the assigned chapters we had read for the week. I highly recommend this read for any teachers who have ever struggled with a “challenging” student. The book details the accounts of many children Perry encountered whose traumatic past altered their future. The book teaches all teachers to have a compassion that is so necessary for these traumatized children.
We discussed many things during our meetings each week. We started discussing the chapters but the conversations always had a way of covering anything and everything. The meetings helped me go into each day with an open mind and a compassion for a child’s situation that I did not have before. You rarely think of the reason someone behaves “badly” or defiantly. We may just assume that that is the way that child is. Many of us may have not stopped to think of the reason for that action. Realistically, we all have a lot on our plates that day and we may be thinking of a quick way to discipline the child. The book helped our book group members to think of ways to help these children in class so that they may have a successful future outside of it.
Today was our last meeting and we took the last twenty minutes to reflect on our love for teaching. How amazing of a feeling it is when you have that moment in the classroom (or outside) when you just get that feeling of “this is the most incredible job on earth!” We all discussed moments we have felt like that and how incredibly lucky we are to be teachers. The book group was a great way to celebrate and to continue our love for learning. If anyone would like more information about this book, please let me know. The book could change your entire outlook on those “tough” situations, reminding us never to give up on a child or to jump to negative conclusions especially when we do not know their entire situation.