Thursday, September 11, 2008


I'm at work late (again)... waiting for the Fall open house to begin so I can talk, talk, talk, answer lots of questions, and then GET HOME!

I was here at school til 6 on Tuesday and 6:30 on Wednesday. I know that other teachers stay later or will continue to keep those hours even after open house week is behind us. I must confess that I am a homebody, though. Being gone 12+ hours (today) and then still needing to figure out dinner, clean up from dinner, prepare for the next day, and such wears a person out!

Hmmm, I just looked around my room and realized I never posted pictures of my classroom for this year. I must take care of that. :) I've put in too many hours and spend too many hours here not to show off some of my favorite little parts. :) Currently there are 19 cereal boxes hanging from the ceiling, each decorated for a different country. The kids' excitement this morning when they realized I took their projects and hung them for ALL to see (over their desks, nonetheless) was worth all the time it took to hang the boxes. :) They are a great group of kids. :)

Teaching is such an amazing and challenging and sometimes odd way to spend the day/year. Today's "hats" included earring remover, scalp inspector (one child was pretty convinced she had lice... I was pretty sure she had dry skin, and the nurse agreed with me ;)), cheerleader, encourager, prodder (finish up, please! ), corrector (I asked you to put that away a moment ago), oh yeah, and educator. ;) Sometimes I feel like such a taskmaster, especially at the beginning of the year when our kiddos are adjusting to the pace of the magnet program and such. And then there are glimpses in a day when I want to thank my students for the opportunities they give me. Today we planted seeds (we're studying life science and beginning with plants). You would have thought I gave them an Xbox 360. SEVERAL children THANKED me for giving them the seeds, dirt, cup, etc. I really do have a great group of kids (have I mentioned that?). Today one of them said, "You provide for us well." Wow (yes, these are 8-9 year olds, and yes, they blow me away at times).

I have to stop and think. So often I'm directing and correcting, especially at the beginning of the year, that I wonder if my acceptance of them comes through as much as I want. When you have some tender hearts, it's oh-so-hard to strike that balance, at the beginning of a new year, of the child KNOWING without a doubt you think they're great, but also being able to correct when needed (without the child taking that on as, "the teacher hates me."). Wanting to earn their trust. I think they're getting it. I think after 4 weeks, they see that they can mess up, and I'll still be cheering from the sidelines for them to make the right choice. I won't give up. I don't expect perfection. When we fall, we just get right back up and learn from our mistakes.

And what about God? Isn't He so often directing and correcting me? May I keep the perspective of so many of my students. "You provide well for us." They are learning to see through the rules and routines and discipline to the heart. May I keep my eyes on His heart, even when the things He allows or has to accomplish in me hurt at the time. My students have known me 4 weeks. They already trust me. I've known God 2o years, and sometimes it's really hard to trust.

But just like I tell my kiddos, try again. Do it right the next time. Let's fix that mistake. And am I ever thankful for a Savior who paid the price for me to be able to try again, do it right the next time, and fix that mistake. Lastly, may I ever increasingly seek to do it right the FIRST time, not just the next time. Only by His grace...


Jennifer said...

Don't you just love teaching? Your post makes me want to get back to the classroom. But I still have unfinished business at home and will have to wait for a few more years. But I love reading about your experiences. Have a great open house!