Tomorrow will mark two weeks since I embarked on this new adventure of being a kindergarten teacher. I am learning SO much about myself. When you are pushed to your limits, all sorts of strength and creativity come out!
Some special moments of the past two weeks:
– Spontaneously joining in on the dodgeball game my 5 and 6-year-old kids were playing in gym on the first day of school and whacking a boy in the face with my first throw. Oops. Good thing there was no rule about face hitting getting you out.. :D (I subsequently got all those boys OUT. Think the girls felt empowered.)
– Seeing the looks on the faces of rambunctious boys I sternly disciplined. I felt so bad erasing all the smiley faces one boy had accumulated throughout the week last Thursday! All the other kids were rubbing it in, too, but I knew I had to follow through with the punishment I had set. I said, “You can get more smiley faces next week, okay?” And he just nodded. It was like I was seeing him mature before my eyes..
– Finding an unexpectedly huge boost in my bank balance last Friday. (Due to someone’s error, I got a random pay advance.. :D) Subsequently bought myself a necklace I in no way needed (a congratulatory gift to myself on making it through my first week) and then 3 pairs of pants I really did need.
– The kids actually noticing my dance moves! Last week, when class got SLOW, I would randomly start dancing, but no one seemed to care. This week, however, the kids have repeatedly been asking me to “do that again.” Glad the most natural way of making a fool of myself is coming in handy.
– Watching the girl who often bursts into tears during difficult classes successfully copy everything from the board today! YES.
– Seeing one boy carefully push in other people’s chairs and realign the tables (which I am constantly nagging them about) while everyone else is busy lining up. So sweet! (There is a reason his nickname is Henry Bear..)
– The way one boy leaned back against me today as he complained about the work I was making him do. Really brought out that motherly instinct.. sigh.
– Winking at kids from across the room. I love the way the girls shyly grin and turn away. (I don’t think I’ve ever winked this much in my life.)
I still have a lot to learn, but I am figuring things out bit by bit.
How to provide the structure these kids need. How to be commanding and fun at the same time. How to be alert to every single thing happening in a chaotic room. How to teach them well. Can’t remember the last time I was simultaneously stretched in this many ways, but it’s kind of fun.