Thursday, May 13, 2010

Little Surprises

It's difficult to come up with something to recall in words every single day when the days tend to mirror each other.  My friend Amy's comment in the beginning was sound, that blogging would force me to look for something meaningful in each day in order to have something meaningful about which to write.  The problem is, I'm not always in a place to be able to sit back and appreciate the smaller, more beautiful details and moments that, if I paid close enough attention, I would surely find sprinkled throughout each day.  Although life is surely beautiful and mine is rather fortunate, between keeping up with keeping my students up with their school work, exercising my patience muscles to the point of fatigue, and trying to remember that fun learning is the most effective kind, I know I miss a lot.

But there was a moment this past Monday that really got my attention.  It was a nice little surprise.  I was basking in the five minutes of solitude I'd managed to snag between students, sitting at the table in the pod, the small room between four classrooms on our hall.  It was only 11:15am and I was already feeling tapped out for the day when it came to my patience level.  It had been an especially frustrating morning with a few kids in class, and I was feeling empty of ideas as to how to tame their incessant chatting and unwillingness to listen.  I was scribbling something, a grocery list, the week's To Dos, or a calendar to organize plans for the up-coming months, I don't remember, when a particular student opened the door from his class, my usual class.  He looked concerned.  It should be said that this student has the ability to frustrate the most seasoned of educators in record time, and tries his hand at bringing me to my knees many, if not most days.  He's a sweet and creative child, but let's say he's got his work cut out for him when it comes to focus and self-control.  So he walked in and I looked up, catching myself sighing already.  He asked what I was doing in there, and I told him, simply enough, that I was doing something before I went to my next class, and that he needed to get back to his.  Then he told me he missed me when I wasn't in class, and that he just wanted to be where I was.  There are days when this child practices his manipulation skills in order to get out of class work, to waste time and to hold your attention.  This wasn't one of those times, and it totally made me smile.  After a moment of questioning whether or not I was following the right career path, that which will often include attempting to inspire kids who don't seem to care, in walked one that reminded me of why it's worth it.  Because there are kids who pay attention, and kids who notice your efforts.  There are kids who listen, and there are kids who walk in and surprise you and make your day better.  I told him thank you, he gave me a hug, and I sent him back to class, assuring him he could work without me there, and that he needed to.  "But thanks for brightening my day."

That was Monday.  I hardly remember Tuesday, and yesterday was our trip to the Special Olympics, which go its own entry.  Today I didn't really think yesterday took anything extra out of me until about 10 o'clock this morning, when one moment I was listening to some students read together, and the next, my head had fallen into my hand, lazily propped up by my elbow, my brain slowing to a sluggish crawl.  Thursday happened as Thursday always does, and when I got home, after letting Heidi outside, checking e-mail, and typing up a few responses, I passed out for an hour.  THAT is worth mentioning because there is little else that can beat a solid and unplanned nap on a day such as this, when the tireds grab a hold and there is little hope that they'll let go.

So what do I have to say today?  Thank all that is good for sweet ten-year-olds and after work naps.

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