Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Pretty Sure God Lives in the Second Grade

This week is off to a GREAT start...for one...I have enough time to write before the weekend! And for another, every day has been a complete and total challenge of my mind and patience and I love every single minute of it!

On Monday I had my first student throw up...all over the BRAND NEW math book. I guess they really did not want to do math. But on a serious note, I felt so terrible. They were out sick the last day of school last week and were sick all weekend and I did not even see it coming. When I got the old "Miss Erin is my head warm?" I figured he was just feeling a little of...but no...he was REAL ill. To make it even better...I was all alone with no one to help me keep track of the 20 other students while 1 was in the bathroom being sick. It was a total fiasco, but it all turned out JUST FINE!

That afternoon we started the Accelerated Math program. It is a really great concept, but I am not convinced that the light of my students is being put to its best use when we have them bubble in a form. That being said, when the fourth grade teacher came in to help, I had never ever seen the kids so well behaved and trying so hard to please. It was really refreshing to see them in that new light. I just wish there were a more fun and exciting way for me to tap into that energy.

After such an AMAZING ADVENTURE in school...I got to (drum roll) DRIVE THE SCHOOL BUS ALL BY MY SELF! Thats right boys and girls...I am officially, completely, and totally, a bus driver. BOOM! It was pretty stressful because I had no IDEA what roads the run followed and no clue where to drop of anyone. To make a rather long story short, I had a 2 hours drive through construction (which was a one way dirt road) and went to both the western and northern edges of the reservation, and there is no diagonal from point A to point B. But it was SUPER FUN!

Today the kids had some very talkative moments, but also some really WONDERFUL ones.

When we started math lessons we talked about all the reasons we might need to know math, because so many of them were moaning and upset about it...but at the end of the lesson they were all sad about having to put their things away. It could just be because they wanted to make me happy, but if that was their goal it worked! (and to make things even better, no one barfed on their math book today!)

Last night I made a large map of pine ridge, and toady after we talked about maps we all drew a picture of our home and had the chance to tape it on the map. Not only did the kids love that they all saw a place they knew (we had to go around and share!) but it was really a wonderful unifying experience for our community, I am so glad I did it.

Today was also the moment when I really felt like I saw this light and presence of God in my students. Maybe its just because Kelly had been teaching them to look for God everywhere, but I don't think that was it. The first time was when I was playing connect four with Tyler (he could not go to gym because he has staples, apparently it was a rough day on the bus). I looked up through all those little yellow bars and saw this beautiful smile and suddenly felt so connected and close. IT was really a wonderful moment that I can't even begin to explain.

Later on this afternoon we had to send a student to the assistant principal for bullying, he knocked down someones stuff. At the time I was so frustrated with him and really at my whits end, I feel like I have to remind him of things all day long and it never settles in. Despite all that, he looked up at me this afternoon with the drawing of his dog and was so so proud of himself and really wanted approval and I realized that I did not hold the least bit of resentment towards him. Even my most difficult student brings me such joy and makes me want to rise to the challenge all the more.

Basically, my kids are amazing. I haven't even made it through two weeks and I could not imagine life without each and every one of them.

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