Day 1: Survival.
Day 2: For better or for worse.
Day 3: Hell.
Day 4: .....Glory!
As I sit reflecting on my first official week as a lead teacher, I find myself asking one very significant and crucial question:
Why, oh dear Lord WHY, did I deny myself COFFEE this week? Seriously, Betsy? Your first week teaching and you reeeallyy think it wise to ignore the mug and pot? This just gives you a glimpse into my utter lack of acknowledging all things sane and rational this week. My mind has been a dangerous place. Coolio would be proud.
I really don't even know where to begin. Against my initial thoughts and understandings, I'm right where I'm supposed to be and I see that so intensely in the eyes of each of the 28 seven-year-olds surrounding me. Whether they're a deer in headlights or gripping my waist in admiration with eyes that scream "Please love me!", they've already captured my heart in ways I never dreamt possible. It's an odd feeling - being face to face with your dream come alive.
The culture is certainly different - I am the minority (28:1) - Significant only in that it requires an increased level of empathy and wisdom to say and do what will ultimately meet their specific needs. [Case in point: While waiting for pick-ups at dismissal, the appropriate "filler game" would NOT be Simon Says, but rather a dance-off to the beat of the bass bumpin' down the street.]
I'm learning to keep it simple. To hug and hug often. Patience. To welcome each day with a smile. To set a timer. To pick and choose your battles. Ebonics. And to always, always have cough drops, water, and chap stick on hand.
One day at a time. Looking forward to an enlightening and fruitful week 2.