I cannot believe I am almost through it. I have stayed strong. I love it and my family has so much fun guessing what I will take a picture of next.
365.257 – Yesterday I walked into my classroom and caught a few of my students doodling. They were kind of funny because I don’t think they were expecting me in there and were not sure how I would react. I didn’t comment on just how much I identify with what they have to say. But I am sure in due time….
Yesterday was a special kind of awesome. I cannot adequately blog about what it is that is taking place at my school. But if you have ever been around to watch a dream realized then you get it. I don’t just mean my own dream. I mean my students, their parents, my co-workers, my bosses and the list could on. We had one last weekend to put our school into shape. To create the space that they wanted for themselves. This was not a project that could be done alone. It was done with all parties that stakes involved. Some teachers, some parents, some students and administration. Everyone had jobs, every one took the time to get to know each other.
We have kids coming from various schools and various “cliques” so it will be interesting to see how that all plays out. We even have students from outside districts. I am sure they will all be vying for their social role if they are not already. But yesterday they were all vying to get a moment with the English teacher.
The fun part about that besides the obvious was how they took opportunities to talk with me where no one could hear. Almost every single one quietly whispered, “I love to read” or “I love to write.” They came in my room sat down and commented, “this is gonna be so cool!” I smiled. I hoped silently. I tried to be realistic as probably only 25-35% of our whole group was there. I am not so naive to think they will all love what I have to offer.
There were two even more favorite parts to the day. The parents. Admittedly, that has been the most intimidating part. In college, the parent piece of the puzzle is different. Sure they support their students, but there are no communication lines instructor to parent after 18. But this funny thing happened. They would see me head to my room and they would follow and I heard stories. “I loved English.” “I struggled in English because of Mr. Smith.” “Writing was my best subject.” “I wrote this short story once and it got published in our paper.” “English is hard, I hated it.” Remember those moments I talked about before here? Literacy events. We all have them. They loved having the opportunity to share them and I listened. It was fun.
But by far the best part of the event was the shy girl who came in with her mom. Mom shares how much daughter loves my room and kind of talks to me about every day things. The girl is looking at the ground. I introduce myself to her and tell her we will have a good year. I ask her if she likes to read and write. She can’t look at me. A few moments of awkward silence follow. Mom finally answers my question. I smile and say, “It’s okay.” I am shy too. Probably hard for her to believe. The convo between the three of us continued for about 10 minutes with daughter saying nothing and making no eye contact.
I am filled with warmth because that is my #2. Just Friday we did the same thing. We stood in her teachers room. Her teacher asked her questions. She awkwardly tried to participate in the conversation without ever saying a word. I answered and touched her arm letting her know she was alright. I have had anxiety ridden college students as well. They are just a soft spot for me I think. I see my #2 struggle so much with “newness” and “change” and I want to make it better for all of them.
It is just amazing how much each of my daughters have prepared me for teaching. My oldest, the perfectionist, she constantly exceeds my expectations and is a bon a fide know it all. Yep had those, have them too. #2 my shy, high anxiety, hard to be social girl, yep had those and have them too. Then my #3 the goofy hard to not laugh at kiddo. Same.
It was fun and I am ready to go (well not really but ready for that part).
*So you know I am not completely blind to the fact that I have gotten incredibly lucky and doubt all my experiences will be so positive. I am just glad for the opportunity!