“Hey, this is fun!”
Straight from the mouth of one of my kiddos, while we were working after school on writing our names with play-doh. I felt a wave of contentment with my job and my life for that moment and thought there was no place I’d rather be than at my kidney-shaped table after school with four munchkins. Then I wondered if he was pointing out that it was fun compared to the rest of our time together, and sighed, and considered infusing more play-doh into my daily routine, and decided it really does have to be only an occasional thing. It takes a long time to guide twenty-three kindergarteners through each of their names. Some of them have long names! Hey! Stop making play-doh guns!
Fun is not the first word I’d use to describe my teaching experience thus far. Maybe: tiring, frustrating, confusing, degrading, heart-breaking, self-esteem-blasting, educational, thought-provoking, rewarding. We had a good week in room 514 and I hardly dare say that I think things are looking up; it finally feels like we’re on solid ground and ready to actually make real gains rather than tread water in there (or thrash around).
I am working, though, on having more fun through my day. My kids read my mood amazingly well, and my management skills suffer tremendously when I let myself get frustrated. I have to remember so that they can understand: when I administer a consequence or reprimand it’s not because I’m upset, it’s because they made a wrong choice. A wrong choice that can be corrected! See? everything’s okay!
We have a three-day week coming up and I’m so looking forward to getting home for Thanksgiving. I’m ready for holiday cheer and actually cold weather (come on, Miami, what is this?! well, okay, it’s kind of nice) and snowflake decorations and family and friends. But goodness, the school year is starting to seem short! I’m thinking about where my kids are now and where I want them to be by June. We have a long, long way to go still.
Crunch time starts now.