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stress ball instructions…

March 15, 2015 , , , , ,


I am about to go back into full-time work and could not be more nervous and excited and every conceivable emotion in between!

I will be running fast…but I cannot WAIT to be running fast in a school community and back in a Music classroom, full of the energy + teaching I totally love, even if I am going to feel like hugging a wine bottle at the end of each day.

It seemed like the opportune time to post this little gem of an idea I had when dealing with a couple of my past students…from the high-flyers who couldn’t contain their nerves to the kid who would enter the classroom by throwing a chair at me rather than a (sometimes cheery), “Hey Ms Kwok!”, I decided I would get creative on how I modelled a calm approach…and at about 2am one morning, thought of this.

Since then, for very special students, I have been handing out my (necessary) Internal Suspension Notices with a stress ball + these instructions….and relishing the perplexed looks of consternation as the student in question tried to figure out if I was serious, or if I’d lost it.

Stress Ball

As with everything you do as a teacher, you give out the very best example without entertaining the hope of it being returned then and there, but hopefully sometime in the future, where you may or may not see the effects.

This is one of my magic moments…an email last year from the student who once upon a time threw music stands by way of greeting in my classes.

He hadn’t figured out the way to express his frustration and fear at getting braces, thereby making his progress on his trumpet – his absolute passion and an integral part of his identity – a whole new challenge.

Hey Ms Kwok,

Just wanted to say thanks for all the support last year with my trumpet playing when I got the braces on, I really needed it. I still have your stress ball and it reminds me that I can handle these challenges. I‘m sorry I was a little shit, I was just so frustrated. Thank you for helping me see that I would get through this challenging time. And thank you for just being an all round grand teacher! I’m getting my braces off tomorrow and I had to let you know!

I hope you’re doing well. 

Yes, after reading that and getting teary and grinning like an idiot simultaneously, I believe I’m doing VERY well.

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