Thursday, November 4, 2010

Laughter Works Miracles

     This week has been kind of rough with the kiddos.  It's that critical point in the school year when the students have gotten too comfortable with the teachers and staff, and feel like it's alright to run around screaming in the hallways despite repeated reminders that they shouldn't.
     I'm also running into the problem that I want to give and give and give to my students, which is why I am teaching French lessons after school, teaching a theatre class and giving special coaching sessions to advanced students, running a Green Team in which I am teaching students about ecology and environmental science, and running a Cooking and Culture club in which I teach students about different world cultures through food and language.  Oh, and I'm building a library by soliciting and collecting donations from local bookstores since my school has no library.  I'm also serving as a mentor for many of the students who don't feel comfortable talking to their teachers about personal issues.  On top of all of that our special education learning center isn't working - so I'm taking it on myself to fix it since no one else seems to want to step up to the plate.  I took over teaching 7th grade math today, and made the students a progress calendar.  All three of my 7th graders learned two-step equations today.  (And I learned that evidently I can teach math.) 
     I'm getting burnt out.  A little stressed with all the things that I'm trying to accomplish for my kids, and a little high strung about how to handle some sticky situations.  I've been trying to keep setting aside quiet time for prayer and contemplation, but it's quickly becoming another item on my long to-do list.  So I've been getting frustrated with that too.  Lots of running around in circles it seems, and not much getting anywhere.  More frustration piles on.  Are you sensing the pattern??
     Today though, I was in History with my 6th graders, and we were learning about Khufu, the pharaoh who build the Great Pyramid of Giza, and my little special ed student turned to me and tugged on my shirt and said, "Ms. D, Ms. D."  He then proceeded to start singing "Little Bunny Foo Foo" as he copied his notes.  I chuckled to myself.  And then he told me that "Fufu is a rapper too you know."  At this point I started cracking up.  It might not seem all that hilarious, but when this kid can barely pay attention in most classes without throwing pencils at the wall or drawing on my shirt, it made my heart giggle to hear him associate his class work with prior knowledge.  He and I then spent the rest of the class period giggling in the back of the room.  I gave up the corrective tone, I gave up trying to get him to "be a scholar" and laughed with him.
     It was the best medicine that my soul could have asked for.

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