Monthly Archives: April 2015

You are Kind…You are Short…

Standard

Nineteen days and counting…this school year is quickly coming to a close.  Unbelievable.  We were talking about the end of our time together today, the kids and I, and one little girl said, “You’re gonna make me cry.”  I quickly responded, “Don’t you dare. If you cry, I’ll cry!”  Another child chimed in, “I like to see grown-ups cry.  I think it’s funny.”  I laughed hard…not sure why…I think it was a stress-filled, give me a bag of chocolate, laugh.

(I stayed away from the chocolate somehow…until I got home.)

So what keeps me going besides chocolate?  Some days nothing but divine intervention, but other times reading a letter like this one:

019

What a wonderful letter to her ‘grandma’ – read to the end! (Breto = burrito!)

Or this one from a little boy who hasn’t written anything on his own all year.  I told him he could write two sentences and that would be enough.  He didn’t stop until the end.  So, so proud of this child.

021

His words warmed my tired heart.  Bless him.

We start tests next week…the lovely achievement tests.  Sigh.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years – it is what it is at this point.  I found a little something I wrote last year and it sums up my feelings about testing better than I could ever restate:

“Instead of having a nice, normal Monday of learning and fun with these kids (tomorrow),  we’re instead entering the torture chamber.  Achievement tests begin (tomorrow).  Government mandated, cluelessly approved, so not appropriate for six and seven-year old children, tests.  On my honor, I will strive to take as much of the stress from them as I can but no matter what I do…bribe them with mints, stand on my head, feed them cookies afterwards, they still have to do the work.  I can’t do it for them.  My kiddos will have to sit for two hours a day and fill in bubbles to questions that may or may not be on their level.  As a teacher and a parent, I despise these tests.  Have you ever seen a child cry over a test when the teacher isn’t allowed to tell them a word?  I have.  Have you ever seen the panic in a student’s eyes when they realize the powers that be are trying to trick them with the answer choices?  I see it every year.  It makes me wonder if the creators of tests for children have ever had their souls healed by a child before?  If they have, I can’t help but believe they would never succumb such small children to such inappropriate measures.

To all the children, teachers, parents and principals readying for the week ahead, my heart and head are with you.  We’re all in this together just in different rooms, in different counties, in different states.  I pray these children rise above the stress and blossom, and I pray for the leadership of our county, state and country.  I pray for awareness for what small children really are.  They are not robots or machines and they will not respond like one.  I pray that each unique child will be loved and appreciated for who they are…not for a number.  We are all different.  Not everyone will make a high score on their ACT.  Not everyone can be Valedictorian.  But I know this, everyone is here for a reason.  Everyone has a job to do somewhere on this earth.

For every child that has healed my soul, thank you.  Thank you for being you…just you.”

Riddle Time

Standard

It started out innocently enough.  Riddles in our reading series…working with a partner to figure out the answer.  My class loves them and it has turned into riddles and jokes all the time.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  You just have to go with it and let the silliness take over.

Blondie, age 6 – “What do you call a test you can eat?”  (I shrug because I have no clue.)  “A piece of cake!”

Little fellow who barely spoke the first semester but has now ‘blossomed’, age 6 – “You wanna hear a ‘your momma’ joke?”  I naively said yes because like I said, he didn’t talk for months.  “Your mother is so stupid (he whispered this word), she tried to climb Mountain Dew!”

The same boy asked me a different day, “Wanna hear another one?”  “Sure,” I said.  “Your momma is so….” (I have to stop right here because this joke was a little bit dirty and definitely not appropriate for first grade!  I blushed!  His jokes now scare me.)

Hubby got in on the riddles yesterday.  “What is the first thing you know?”  This one stumped me all day long and he refused to tell me the answer until he got home.  You ready for this??  “The first thing you know ole Jed’s a millionaire!”

Just go with it people!

I took this joke to school and of course none of the kids knew Jed. I got very blank stares so I explained that it was an old show.  Sweetie pipes in, “I don’t watch those shows.  The only adult shows I watch are Dancing With the Stars, America’s Funniest Home Videos, and The Golden Girls.  That show’s a hoot!”

And so are these kids of mine.

Worry…

Standard

godquote

Thank goodness I don’t have to be in charge.  Thank goodness I am not the boss and never, ever do I want to be the boss.  I learned the hard way that no matter how much I preach, nag, hover, worry, or beg, I can’t force things to be a certain way.  I can’t force things to be my way. It was hard letting go of the control, believe me.  As a teacher and a mom, I didn’t like it one bit.  But once I fully let go, it was a huge relief.

Still, I find myself worrying.  I ‘hand’ over my issues to God every day…and I mean every single day.  He probably gets tired of hearing it, honestly.  But still, the worry nags at times.  Still, I have to forcibly turn over my problems to someone who can handle them when I can’t.

Right now…I’m worried about my community.  I live in a small, rural town in the south.  There are approximately 7,500 city residents and 28,000 county residents.  We have a Wal-Mart and a Home Depot; we don’t have a Target or a Starbucks (and I would love to have both of these).  Our newspaper comes out once a week, Swap-n-Shop is on the radio every day for people to buy and sell their goods, and we have eight schools in the county.  People know each other.  People know you and your granny and your best friend from high school.

My community is struggling.  We battle with addiction and abuse and crime just like every other city.  We love sports and we support fund-raisers and little league teams.  We watch homecoming parades passing through the city square and fill churches on Sunday.  We gather to eat and share and love.

Still, my community is in trouble.  We are divided when it comes to leadership.  We let the past blur the future.  We forget others needs and focus only on our own.  We forget daily to love each other as God would do.  Daily, we forget to be kind.

I wish I had the answers for the pain.  I wish I had magic words to fix problems beyond my control.  But I don’t…and I have to remind myself that deep down, I truly don’t want to be in charge of fixing the woes of my town.  Just as I do every day, I’ll turn these issues over to God.  On this Easter Sunday, I pray for my divided community, for the leaders, for the workers, for the people.  I hope for resolution and fairness.  I pray for peace.