Two posts in one day? Who am I? If you decide to read both, I love you.
When I got back from Peru I was really excited to start a new student teaching placement. I missed my students at Renaissance (and still do), but I was ready to see what a Christian school would be like. For the first couple of weeks, it was as if I was experiencing culture shock – akin to my time in Iquitos. The resources that Renaissance has far surpasses those of West-Mont. At my new placement, I found that schedules are more fluid, and the students walk to their specials by themselves. The teachers take turns manning lunch & recess duty, and the principal is not only an administrator, but the librarian, gym teacher, and baseball/wrestling/field hockey coach. That man deserves a medal.
A part of me was frustrated, yet a huge part of me loved the atmosphere and dedication to praying each morning as a group of educators. We were able to share prayer requests and praise reports, and I constantly felt supported and loved.
The students, however, were a challenge. They were defiant, talked back, and told me what to do. They were chatty, and filled with strong-willed attitudes. Some days they made me feel small, and discouraged. I began to doubt whether or not I could do this forever.
But in the end, a part of me is going to miss this class of crazy (yet wonderful) third graders. They are vivacious, intelligent, and filled with so much potential. They are loving, and aching for affection.
It’s so easy to focus on the bad, and to label a classroom as hopeless. Sometimes I found myself doing just that, and giving up on thirteen little people that just need a little help and a few more boundaries. It made me sad that I began to act as if they would never succeed.
Since today was my last day of Student Teaching, I drew each of their names on a piece of paper, and included a word that describes them. I also wrote a little bit about what they do that makes me proud.
B: You are honest. Your honesty makes others trust you & want to follow you. The way you follow rules, and always try to do the right thing makes me proud.
I: You are a mathematician. Your love for math will get you far. The way you help others learn makes me proud.
D: You are creative. Your short stories are my favorite – especially the one about the cat. The way you draw and create makes me proud.
R: You are passionate. You care deeply about the things happening around you, and are able to make others feel so loved. The way you talk about your family and pray for your mom makes me proud.
M: You are caring. Your ability to show kindness to everyone around you makes others feel wanted and accepted. The way you treat your classmates makes me proud.
A: You are gentle. Your sweet spirit brings everyone so much joy. The way you speak to others with kindness makes me proud.
T: You are giving. You love to share your favorite things with others & try your best to help people who are sad and hurting. The way you show love to others makes me proud.
A: You are loyal. You are faithful to your friends and always want to make them happy. The way you help your friends makes me proud.
D: You are witty. You might be quieter than your classmates, but you are hilarious and always bring a smile to my face. The way you make others laugh makes me proud.
D: You are sincere. When you say things, I know you mean them. The way you encourage others makes me proud.
D: You are helpful. You always want what’s best for other people, and try to help others make good choices. The way you help me during lessons makes me proud.
L: You are enthusiastic. You are so intelligent and love sharing your knowledge with everyone around you. The way you love learning makes me proud.
A: You are thoughtful. You can see when others are sad, and always say hello when you walk in the room. The way you think about the feelings of others makes me proud.
Today I’m thankful for this semester, and this class of rambunctious third graders. Thankful that I survived, and hopeful that I made at least one of these students feel important.