Friday, August 14, 2009

5 Days Down, Only 175 Days to Go!

This week I started my seventh year of teaching. WOW! It's hard for me to believe that I've been out of college for seven years already. I remember when I first started teaching that I thought seven years seemed like an eternity. I remember thinking that those teachers who had taught for that many years were so wise and must know all there is to know about teaching kids. I realize now how wrong I was! I DEFINITELY don't feel wise and I DEFINITELY don't know all there is to know about teaching kids. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could teach for 30 years and go to every workshop under the sun and one of my students would still do something to surprise me! (One of the reasons I really enjoy never know what to expect!) Funny story that happened this week. One my very ACTIVE students was working on drawing a picture of herself during the first week of school. I was walking by to see their pictures and she grabbed my skirt and begged me to stop so she could explain her picture. There was a person on the ground pointing up and there was another person that looked like they were floating in the sky. In the background you could see a chalkboard and a desk, so you knew it was supposed to be the inside of the classroom. I asked her about her picture and these were her sweet little words, "This is you down here telling me to sit down and do my work....and this is me (pointing to the person in the sky) climbing the walls of the classroom!" I laughed out loud and immediately went next door to share the story with a teacher friend. Kids say and do the darndest things!

This year I feel more lost than ever. Cheryl pointed out a week ago that it's probably due to the fact that I'm having to leave a certain little boy with someone else while I go work all day. Do I regret my decision to work? No, I honestly don't. I'm not saying that leaving Eli is easy; it's NOT! There are days that I wish I could stay home with him, and love, play, and have fun with him, but I know that he's in WONDERFUL hands. We have a great babysitter who loves Eli and cares a lot about him. Plus, there's another little boy there who is 6 weeks older than Eli, so Eli is getting some much needed socialization. (We are right in the middle of the separation anxiety phase and the other little boy provides some much needed distraction when I need to leave in the mornings). I enjoy teaching and I feel that it's what I'm supposed to be doing at this point in my life. I feel like I'm living out the calling that God placed on my life a long time ago and I guess when he says I'm finished, I'll leave, but until then a teacher I will be :)

I will say my whole outlook on teaching has changed since I had Eli. Having a child really makes you think twice about how you treat other people's children. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a mean teacher-I never could follow the "don't smile until after Christmas" rule that some teachers use-but I know I've gotten frustrated and impatient now and then with a child. Since I've had Eli, I see children a little differently than I did before. Now, I see my little boy in all of them and I find myself asking, "Would you like it if someone spoke to Eli this way?" No matter how dirty a child is, how they act, how they dress, or how they look, they are someone's baby and deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. It is my goal to make sure that every child in my room feels loved every day they are in my care. Who knows? My smile may be the only one they see that day and my hug or pat on the back may be the only positive encouragement they receive that day, or for the week! So sad to think about, but SO TRUE! It is my prayer that God will use me to be his hands, arms, and feet to help these children every day. I want them to know how much I love and care about each and every one of them, even the ones that try my patience to no end :)

My first week back as a working mom was tough. Not only was it the beginning of a new school year, but Eli started running a fever around 5 o'clock Sunday night before school. We thought it was just related to teething, but when it jumped up to 103 degrees we knew it was something else. To top that, I got a text from my babysitter saying that she felt bad and probably didn't need to keep Eli the next day. GREAT! What a wonderful way to start off my new school year! Thankfully, Josh was able to stay home with Eli Monday, so I could go to school. Some good friends and family members also pitched in and helped out all week with Eli, so Josh and I could work. A HUGE thank you goes out to Bepa, Mammy, Zue-Zue and Mamaw. I don't know how we would have gotten through this week without you guys. I never once worried about Eli, which was a wonderful blessing, because I was able to focus on everything I had to do at school. Lots of people were praying for Eli and I need to say thank you so much for your prayers! Eli's fever broke late Wednesday night and he feels much better now. Although, we're having to un-spoil him now because he was held a lot when he was sick and now, even though he's better, he still wants to be held pretty much all the time. It'll get better though, I'm not worried.

I'm looking forward to this year and seeing what surprises it has in store for me. I am also looking forward to the little angelic face I'm going to see every day around 3:20. That is DEFINITELY the BEST part of my day!!! I've been in school for 5 days now, only 175 school days left until another summer with Eli! Here's hoping and praying for a WONDERFUL year!!!

Me and Sondra on the 1st day of school
She's helped me in my classroom for the past 2 years, but this year they moved her. BOO HOO HOO!! I was very sad to not have her with me again, but so excited when I found out that we have morning duty together so we can still talk :)


Penny said...

My kindergarteners don't start full time until next Friday. We started testing yesterday and test through Thursday. Anyway, the five I met yesterday were adorable! =)
I LOVE the story about the picture she drew. I have a certain grandson that story could pertain to. OMG, the classroom stories I could share. I might just post some one day, changing/omitting names to protect the guilty of course. ;)

{Louisiana.Bride} said...

That is so funny! I start teaching 5th grade for the first time Thursday. Everyone has said to be stern the first few days, it would probably kill me to not smile till Christmas.

Audra said...

You seem like the BEST teacher. Will you please be Drew's teacher when he gets older? I guess that would require relocation! Every child deserves to have a teacher with such a beautiful, godly attitude!

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