November. It's NovemberI'tsNovemberIt'sNovember.
I woke up this morning, a morning on which I'm headed to a conference (leaving my kids with a sub - AH), to a phone call from my teammate informing me that the school is closed today. Thank you, shot transformer, for the blessing in disguise. Sure, I would have had the day off too, but MAN the joy in knowing that my kids won't shoot that sub's brains out is INCREDIBLE.
Everyday I'm told the same thing -
"Man, you have a tough bunch."
"Those kids are just [insert various synonyms for 'ridiculous' here]."
"Why would they stick you with the roughest group?"
"You have your hands full!"
.....and my personal favorite.....
"Whew! Glad I'm not in your shoes!"
It says something when I went back to my desk the other day to find a folded up note from a student to me that said simply, "Wonder Woman".
I think it's safe to say that I've never, never ever, been in this position before. I've never felt so stretched, so challenged. I love my kids, but when you have 4 that are considered "severely emotionally and socially unstable", it's painful to say the least. Every day, every moment, is a brand new one. I'm finding myself constantly having to remind myself to breathe. I've figured out how to control each of the four individually and the class as a whole without one or more of them, but when all 28 are present - it's a complete toss-up. One moment might be awesome, the next a disaster when one of my 4 has a meltdown over another student accidentally touching his arm. Meltdown times are angry times. Tears, screams, grunts, stomps...
I can say this - If I wasn't being encouraged regularly by my administration with praise for the "amazing, incredible, rockstar" job I'm doing, I can guarantee I wouldn't be here. That's the other thing - I'm not doing an amazing, incredible, rockstar job. I don't see it in myself, and I certainly do not feel it at the end of the day. Somehow they're seeing it, though, and that tells me one thing - I'm not the one controlling that room. God's mysteries never cease.
I wish I had blogged more - I have so much to say. Good therapy, too. I don't know. This is just a snapshot of what's going on in my mind - the next thing being whether or not to continue on in Detroit or move forward in pursuit of the passion I still have for somewhere else. I can say this - if I can survive this year, I can survive anything.
On some good notes:
I'm doing a project with my kids where I send out our friend, Marvin [a stuffed mouse], on a journey around the world to learn about various places. He's been to Tennessee and is currently in NYC, heading next to the Dominican Republic over the holiday. I am LOVING it, and PRAISE GOD so are the kids! It's bonding them, which I'm telling you they need desperately. Such a beautiful thing. Anyways, I'm thankful to those that are welcoming Marvin in - It's incredible to know I have such warm friends, willing to help out so selflessly.
With that, my kids are getting pen pals...
....from NEW YORK CITY!
I found a 2nd grade class in Brooklyn in the same network of schools as ours that is willing to team up for the year. Again, anything to bond those kids and give them some added excitement for life.