God bless teachers

Two weeks down, thirty four or so to go. Or, 10 days down, 170 to go. But you know, I really don’t think about it that way, except every once in a while when I feel a little overwhelmed. I’m tired and have a ton of things to do, but this second week of school was so much better than the first, and I have a very nice class, we’ve gotten the stress of being prepared for Parent Night behind us, and are starting to gel as a little family in the classroom. They are starting to realize I’m kinda goofy, and I’m comfortable enough to act goofy, and it’s all good. At the beginning when you don’t know the kids it feels like you are just knocking yourself out, have lurched out of summer into high gear like you’re on a high speed jet and it’s all for…what? Little needy people you have yet to meet, and then you meet them but don’t love them yet like you did last year’s kids…and then you meet them and start to bond. You see all their unique qualities as individuals that are, once again, different than any other kids you’ve taught, and this class as a group also has a flavor and a feel that is different, and you realize that even though you are tired, it’s most of the time a good tired. This is the rhythm of the school year that Jeff has grown used to, living with me all these years.

At home, we are thrilled to see things settling in for Sophie as well. We were so nervous to see her heading off on that bus. Would she make friends? We were taking her from Trinity and people she knew. Middle school is always a big step, but hers would be bigger than most. Amazingly, she’s found a new friend who is in all but one of her classes and she’s right here in our subdivision…they can ride bikes between houses. The phrase “all my friends” is in her vocabulary often. She talks about her teachers often and loves the funny things they say. She read two good-sized chapter books the first week and was very concerned that she not lose them and get them returned to her language arts teacher’s library. She’s forgotten to turn in a couple of things, one that was forgotten, one that was beautifully done and left on the kitchen table…par for the course for her. But she was concerned and is learning…it cost her some “Character Cash”. She especially likes her science teacher and compares him constantly to her 5th grade math teacher, Mr. Nelson. And she told us almost as an afterthought that she’d made the news broadcast team at school last night. Wow! This was because she was in a rush to get out the door to go to a friend’s–the phone had just rung, she’d answered it, and I heard her say, “Yo, Kat! I’m coming!” We are so proud of this kid. Once again, I have to say, God bless teachers. Sophie had a great foundation at Trinity. She’s ready to go because of all the TLC and great teaching she received there. I’ve meant to post this photo all summer. It was taken on the last day of school when Sophie was helping her teacher, Mrs. Meredith Voelz, clean up and move her classroom for the third time that year (LONG story)…Meredith was the perfect person to help Sophie through a tumultuous year and I can’t thank her enough for seeing her job as a mission, and for seeing our girl’s wonderful potential. Yep, God bless teachers. God bless us, every one.

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 6:36 am  Comments (1)  

The times, they are a-changin’…

I’m entering my twenty-second year of teaching, of walking kids out to buses, having field trip bus-ride induced headaches more times than I can count, and yet it’s only for the first time that I’ve put my own child on one this past week. We all stood out on the front porch, Emma still in her pajamas, Jeff having been told, “Could you leave now?” and so we watched and tried to stay out of sight as we listened for the unmistakable sound of the diesel engine coming down the hill, and the squeal of the brakes as it stopped right at our cul-de-sac. Sophie looked so grown-up as she sat on the bench across the street, legs crossed, foot swinging in a nonchalant way like she’d done this for years…then the bus pulled up, the door swung open and I heard a lady’s voice call out, “Middle school, right?” and our girl disappeared inside. Wow. That was it. I’d been so nervous because she WASN’T nervous. Like, I would’ve been sitting out there way earlier, my clothes picked out the night before, up much earlier, bag packed 3 times before it was just right…she just doesn’t operate this way. She truly wanted me to get her up with 20 minutes to dress, eat, and get out the door. Maybe YOU can do this, Sophie, but MOM can’t handle it. For the most part it’s been OK; we’ve had a few rough spots but it’s been pretty good. And she’s loving the excitement of switching classes, new people, teachers, more action in general…middle school fits her well so far. On our agenda in the next few days? Go rent a trumpet. Yep, just like Dad. Only Dad didn’t have a cell phone. She’s got a sassy little red one because it’s a different era. I’m just standing around and looking at all the changes and catching my breath. And just when I think I’ve got a handle on things, Emma, four and a half, calls me “Dude”. Seriously.

Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 6:22 pm  Comments (1)