Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Ooooh, you're in troublllleeeee"

In school, I was one of those goody two shoes kids who would cry if they got a time out. I have students who are far more mature than I ever was in school--they understand that if they do something wrong or are distracting, they need to be removed from the situation. On Friday, I got that all-too-familiar "oh-no-I'm-going-to-get-in-trouble" sloshy, twisted feeling in my stomach when I (along with the K/1 team) was late coming back from our lunch saunter to a local coffee shop. It seemed like a great idea until I got called at the last minute to pick up a student from the cafeteria at lunch, and we scrambled to the cafe. The baristas were, of course, working in slow motion and that horribly guilty "I'm breaking the rules" feeling bubbled in my stomach and resulted in a dash to pick up my wiggly line 10 minutes late after an extended recess, spraying "I'm so sorry's" all over my principal who seemed partially confused, partially amused, and partially annoyed. At least the Kinder/1st grade teachers were in it together...and we fixed our mistake, as I'm so often telling my students, by being prompt every other day.
It's interesting how early personalities develop. My students have their full-fledged personalities: RD with her neat, organized, sometimes even anal tendencies to clean up after other students and keep her space orderly. AC is an advocate for herself and refuses to silence herself--but also respects those around her deeply. ZK is charming and sure to be a ladies' man, and DC can problem solve and mediate like nobody's business. These kids are incredible, and often get me reflecting on how I must have been in school. I was that quiet one who was afraid to talk for many reasons: to say the wrong thing, to sound nervous, or to step on anyone's toes. I was probably most like DM--who I don't think I've mentioned much thus far in my blog, except she is 100 times more brilliant that I ever was and she is one of the highest readers in English when she just started learning English this year (!) She rarely says anything, but she is ALWAYS listening. She focuses better than I ever could--and the results are truly incredible. I have at least 5 students like that this year--they are AMAZING.
One of my students is leaving in two weeks to another school on the other side of town... the fluidity of movement in this community is very hard. I'm thinking of how I can prepare my students to lose one of our friends...

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