Monday, December 31, 2012

Love what you do

Saw this quote in Curves this morning, "If you love what you do and believe that it matters; what could be more fun?" I would change the quote a bit and and end it with the phrase, "what could be better?" than fun, because I know that what I do and love is not always fun, but really, I couldn't ask for a better job.

Yep, I love my job. Teaching 5 and 6 year olds is a real joy. Watching their eyes light up when they figure out the number pattern, when they can build a high wall of cardboard bricks, when they tell me they know what letter a word starts with because of the sound it makes, or when they show me a picture they have coloured with their best colouring...there is no greater reward for teaching!

But yes, sometimes my students drive me nutty! Like really, we've gone over the same lesson so many times and they still don't get it? Why don't they get it today when yesterday it wasn't a problem? Or how about the kid who just can't keep her mouth shut at any time...even when she's had innumerable time-outs from our carpet time because of it and always says she knows what to do and will do better. Or the boy that keeps hurting other kids? He's used to wrestling and "fighting" with his large "wrestling-sized" father and doesn't realize that other kids aren't quite as pain tolerant or that fighting is not the way we solve problems in the classroom. Or the boy who is so angry over situations in his life way beyond his control that he takes out the anger in class when he doesn't get his way and beware the adult who is within his kicking range! Or how about the little girl who doesn't have a clue about letters or print because her parents have never read to her? Just breaks my heart.

The Newtown massacre of kindergarten and grade 1 students just before Christmas really hit home for me. That could have been me and my class. In fact, at the beginning of this year, I was given a photo of a dad who has been threatening to come and get his girl from my class, even though he is not to have any contact with his children. I'm supposed to be aware of all strangers in our playground. This man is a police officer, so has access to weaponry that could do a lot of damage. And so, I ask myself, "Would I stand in front of my class and be shot first? Where would I hide the students? Where would we go?" I, along with all other teachers and admin at my school, reviewed our own lock down policies and practices. We talked about these questions. I tried to reassure parents in my class, without drawing undue attention and worry, that I would do my absolute best to keep my students, their children, safe. I do hope I would be a teacher who would lay down my life for my students.

I love my job, but never thought it would be dangerous. I love my job; the rewards are innumerable. I love my job and I'm not about to trade it for anything else.

new year's resolutions

I am so glad there's always a new day, a new week, a new month and most fun...a new year. These are all possibilities to start afresh. Just as God's mercies are new every morning, I think I give myself a break every new day, too. Today will be better; this week I will be good; this month I will be gentle and kind; this year I will be self-disciplined. ;)

So today as I look back, I could get all depressed about how I didn't follow through on everything I'd like to do in my year of living deliberately, but I'd rather look ahead and plan to do better. The biggest challenge is definitely in living a self-disciplined life. It has not been hard to invest in relationships. I'm absolutely loving my job again this year, even with the challenging students I have, and God keeps teaching me in different ways and places...but that part about self-discipline. That one's tough. I'm not doing well. I eat too much of not the greatest stuff (and Christmas is the absolutely worst time of it!), I waste time, I don't stay as active as I'd like, and I don't like what happens as a result. I gain weight, inches and feel unhealthy. Guess there's only one way to change that! And so I start again. Wish me luck!