It was Friday morning after a REALLY long 5 day week. Most of them are. I was having a conversation with one of my particularly challenging students. She is from a PBIS classroom, which means she has some rather significant issues with controlling her behavior. On this Friday morning, things were going well. We were having a conversation about her Life Book (journal). She had written about going to see her biological family, and about a cousin's birthday party she would be attending. She seemed so happy and excited, that I wanted to keep the conversation going. I asked her if she thought there would be cake at the birthday party. She looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, "Mrs. Butler, there's ALWAYS cake!"
I couldn't stop thinking about her words all day. At first, they just cracked me up--the eye-rolling, the OBVIOUSNESS of my ridiculous question. But, like most things that stick with me for the long haul, I knew there was a lesson here for me to learn. So tonight as I was getting some laundry done, it dawned on me: as a teacher, as HER teacher, I AM THE CAKE! Now, I'm not saying these words in the same way that I'd say I AM THE BOMB! (commonly after I've completed said laundry). This was different. This child and all of the others sitting in our classrooms need to know that there will ALWAYS be cake. They need stability, and they need US to be THAT for THEM.
Now this in and of itself isn't that much of a revelation. Except when you think of how crazy some of their lives are. As my friend Jess says, they are as screwed up as a soup sandwich, some of them. So my steadfastness matters--a lot. When I feel like I'm losing it--and it happens--I'll be thinking to myself, I am the cake. And also? I might be whistling Happy Birthday.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and BE THE CAKE!!!