Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wisdom from a cookie

Well, I DID call it. Tuesday was CRAZY. Let's just say that at one point, there were four adults in the room (including me) and we STILL had to call the principal to bring back one student who had abandonned her activity of pushing desks around the room and had run out into the playground. EEK!

It's funny, a coworker asked me last night how I was finding the school. It was hard to answer, because on one hand, it's SO incredible challenging. There's academic challenges, behavioural challenges, and lots of social/economic/historical challenges, too. Some days I am SO stressed out at the end of the day, and I am more exhausted this year than I think I've ever been teaching... But. BUT. These kids are SO neat. Even the one who bolted on Tuesday. Especially her. I really, REALLY like my class. It may be a battle ground at times, but (a few days removed from Tuesday and after a pretty good day today, I can say this!) it's worth it!

I think of one student in particular who brings (surprise, surprise) his own challenges to school. I can't really get into it, which is ok, except to say that there are a number of academic and behavioural concerns that I have about him. There is also a self-esteem factor, too. School for him is hard, and he knows it. Even in grade two, he tries to be so tough, so cool, to make up for the fact that he just can't do the same stuff as a lot of the other kids. He began the year refusing to read anything, even to TRY. "I can't read," he'd say. He tried all kinds of tactics to avoid his work and to push the limits of classroom rules, and let me tell you, there were a few times when he was n-o-t NOT happy with me. Hysterical wheezing crying shows of stubbornness all through lunch hour, that kind of thing. But he knows the limits. He's learning that I'm not out to get him.

And yesterday?

This tough little kid who rarely smiles walked in the door after recess with all the other kids. All of a sudden I felt two little arms around my waist and I looked down... He was giving me a hug! A HUG!!!

It couldn't have been more fitting when, after school, I grabbed one of the 18,000 fortune cookies a parent gave me for the class (seriously! SO. MANY. FORTUNE. COOKIES. We will never be able to get through them all) and pulled out the fortune:

Move slowly but surely to success.

You'd better believe it!

I am SO proud of these kiddos! I have already seen so much improvement in my class. Baby steps, yes, but each tiny victory is a step in the right direction. Those unexpected arms around my waist are the proof.


Jean said...

How could anyone NOT love you!?! :) You're doing such a fantastic job. :)

anne said...

What a cool thing to be able to watch them develop...even if slowly. They are blessed to have you to watch over them! :)

nachtwache said...

Bless you, Hillary, for being someone positive in their life!

Katrina said...

You are an amazing teacher...I feel absolutely inspired by you. Thanks for sharing your struggles and successes!