Well howdy there, sunshine. How are you? I’m so excited about today’s topic. It’s just a fun, uplifting thought and something that brings me joy, so I wanted to share it with you. I think this will leave you feeling encouraged, and empowered. And you know, we’re humble around here. But truly, you are a big deal. You can do things that no one else can do. And today, I’m going to share that with you. I want you to step into your role of being a tiny human tamer.
A Kentucky Girl and the Circus
I was six years old when I went to the circus for the first time. Here in one of the poorest parts of the country in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, wow, was that a sight to behold for a little one like me, a little one who lived in a holler. If you don’t know what a holler is, it’s like a little road that goes between the forks of a mountain. Our holler actually didn’t have a road. You had to drive up a creek. You’re getting an Eastern Kentucky Appalachian lesson in all this. It was a sight for a little girl who got her water that we drank, that we bathed in, pumped from a well. Yes, I’m talking about a well like Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water kind of well.
So as you can imagine, this circus was completely amazing. It was foreign. It was magical and magnificent. And one of the things that I remember the most were the tigers and the tiger tamer. I could not believe that these wild animals that I heard about in storybooks at school, from my kindergarten teacher, were here in front of me. And there was actually someone brave enough to step into a cage with those creatures and boss them around and to somehow magically, magnificently, tame those beasts. It was amazing.
And still to this day, wow, do I feel fear when I watch the circus or videos of people with these wild animals. Doesn’t it make you nervous? Doesn’t it make you feel like they must have some magical gift they were given at birth to face that danger? To overcome that and produce something so wonderful, have something that leaves others in complete awe.
You Are a Tiny Human Tamer
I know, you know where I’m going with this teacher, you know that I am referring also to you. You’re not a tiger tamer, but you are a tiny human tamer. What a magnificent thought that is. So what I realized when I was thinking back on those memories of the circus as a kid was that in many ways, I am, and you are too because we’re in this together, I am pretty similar to the tiger tamer. I do what he did with little, tiny humans. And what we do is even more magnificent than what they do.
You’re probably thinking, Toni, no one is as amazed with what I do as you are amazed with a tiger timer, but hang with me for just a minute. Whether you realize it or not, people think that what we do is something that they could never do. How many times have you talked to someone and they say, “Oh, my goodness, I could not do that. I could not be a teacher.” Well, they’re probably right, because we are a special breed.
Tiny Human Tamers in Action
You know, one time I was getting observed. I taught kindergarten, and I had this principal, who I never got along with, by the way. But he noted after this observation that my kindergarteners functioned more like a first grade class. He was astounded at the way I had tamed those tiny beasts and had complete control of my classroom. Another thing he noted was that I made it look so easy and natural. Although he himself would have been fearful at any moment. Those kids would have devoured him. He taught high school. So you can imagine kindergarten is not his thing.
I was a tiny human tamer back then. I still am. And you are too.
But I want to give you one more story of the tiny human tamer that I observed. My children are in this private childcare at a woman’s home. Her name was Cassie. One day I went to pick up my kids a lot earlier than usual and came in her house at nap time. So she has at least six to seven kids here in her in-home childcare. And they’re all asleep. I could not believe it. Her house was so peaceful. It was quiet. There was music in the background.
And at the same time I was dealing with trying to get my kids to sleep at night. It was horrible. Getting kids to calm down and go to sleep takes a lot of practice. It takes a lot of routine. It’s something that I’ve mastered now many years later, but something that at that moment, I could not believe that she had the ability to do. She was a tiny human tamer. She knew the secrets that I did not know.
Embrace Your Role as a Tiny Human Tamer
And so I just wanted to tell you these stories because you might not realize it, but you are a tiny human tamer, and people know it. The lion tamer at the circus makes it look easy. It’s so natural. But you know, that takes nerve. It takes guts and practice to face the very creature, or creatures in our case, that could potentially devour you. But we face that fear each and every day. We train our little lions or tigers to do things that normal people find astounding. That is a big deal. You are a big deal. You do amazing things each and every day that you step into the classroom.
Just a little piece of advice. If you are struggling with this role of being a tiny human tamer, you can work on classroom management, organization, and planning. I’m sure even the guy in the circus sometimes needs to brush up and work on their talents. So never feel like you’re done learning. I have lots on classroom management and engagement that can be helpful to you. But at the end of the day, just step into this role, realize how magnificent it is, how wonderful it is. That can give you energy and passion to keep on going, to get even better.
To end, I’ll just say this. I am so proud to be in a profession where I’m doing something amazing. And I’m doing it with amazing people just like you. You’re here in your spare time finding encouragement, finding the things that you need to keep going, to get better. And I’m just so happy to be here. So let’s keep it together tiny human tamers, and let’s keep on doing what we know is making this incredible impact in the world.
Joyful Teacher Academy is Coming!
I also want to invite you to join a waiting list for my soon to be released Joyful Teacher Academy. If today’s topic gave you an uplifted spirit, made you feel energized, made you feel like you may need more of this, that is what Joyful Teacher Academy is all about. It’s about finding joy in teaching. It’s about sustaining that joy so that we can keep on teaching, so we can put away our thoughts of leaving the profession that we love, and constantly work on improving, making progress. Joyful Teacher Academy may be what you need to keep going.
It is almost complete. I just want it to be exactly what you need. So please, if it sounds like something you need, just join the waitlist below. All that means is that when it is released, you will be the first to be notified. There’s no obligation, there’s nothing like that. It just means that Hey Toni, I’m interested so let me know when it’s ready.
I hope you’ll join me here in the same place next week. And as always sweet teacher, until we meet again, go make a difference, Teacher Friend.