Shy Town

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 28 2012

Look me in the eye

I’ve been ignoring this blog for awhile, for no other reason than I’ve been up to my eyeballs in red tape and assessments and long-term plans, short term plans, visions, and observations. Is that a good enough excuse?

Anyways, I’m not doing well, in fact I’m doing pretty shitty. I’m  sure sometimes everyone feels like this right? I’ve just gotten tons and tons of criticisms recently and not a lot of pats on the back. I never thought I was the type of person who needed pats on the back to keep going, but I guess I am. I don’t need one everyday, but it’s nice to hear every once in awhile that you’re not a complete fuck-up at your job.

So today, after I got one more criticism added to my growing pile of straws that are getting ready to break my camel’s back, one of my kids walked up to me and stared at me. She offered me some “tea” (empty red cup) and “cake” (plastic bagel) from her “cart” (a plastic ironing board she was dragging around the classroom) because “I know it’s your favorite Ms. Olivia” and then kissed me on the cheek and said ” I love you teacher” and walked away. I literally almost lost it right there in the middle of the art center of my classroom and started bawling. How can this child, who is 3, who can’t for her life remember the difference between pink and green, who can only count to 8 (4 on her fingers), and thinks there are 4 “K”s in her name (there aren’t), be so empathetic, a skill that it seems some adults in my life can’t even master?

Another one of my students, “my shadow” as some people call him, because he literally follows me everywhere, was sitting in my lap at the time and he started giggling hysterically. He’s autistic and  doesn’t usually interact much with other students, but he grabbed her hand and mine and held them both for a minute and then gave me a toothy grin before getting up and wandering away to find some alphabet letters to play with.

I’m new, and I’m not going to lie, sometimes I have no idea what I’m  doing, sometimes I need more help than I’m willing to admit, and sometimes I’m just plain wrong. But sometimes I like to believe I’m doing something right, and in the darkness that’s been my last couple days at work, the only thing I’m convinced I’m doing right is loving these kids. God (if he or she exists, Spirits, Earth Mother, whatever) as my witness I love the crap out of these kids. I just hope someone else can see that, and thinks it’s worth something too.

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    Little kids, big city, one me.

    Early Childhood

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