Scratch the "not-as-exhausted" part of my last post.
I am truly, completely tired, and until today, had a pretty bleak outlook on how this year would turn out. I am still feeling more confident about asking questions, putting behaviour, speech and occupational therapy plans into place, and bombarding parents with calls, emails, etc. ANYTHING to keep communication going and for the kids to realize that parents/guardians and teachers are all on the same team.
Just the same, I almost cried on my fantastic vice-principal on Monday. Poor guy asks an innocent question like, "so, how was the day?" And gets a silly f'male (as Dad would say) blinking back, shaking her head and trying to keep down tears. This awesome fella asked me into his office and talked me through things (a runaway kid, high volume class, boundary testing and at-limits assistants and teachers) and brought up new perspectives that I was too selfish at that point to look at. It turns out he was right, and after a meeting this morning, I at least have a better understanding of one little guy's situation, and where it doesn't excuse certain behaviours, makes it much easier to realize that these are small outbursts compared to what this child is working through. I can't imagine being 4 or 5 years old and having some of the experiences that these children have had, and are 'thriving' in spite of.
The things that children in our world, country, provinces, communities and homes live through are incredible. Children have to be the most resilient human beings there are.
Many of these kids have no reason to understand emotions, or have any true reaction to care or love that they can understand or verbalize. Every child deserves to be cared for, respected and loved, and it makes me sick that there are SO many that aren't granted that basic necessity.
Sometimes the biggest thing we can do for these kids is offer consistency and and extra hug. This week I saw a vice-principal make a huge deal about a girl (grade 4 or 5) who showed up at school 4/5 days this week. She congratulated her, made sure she recognized that this was so tough for this little girl, gave her a hug and a promise that she would be right there at the door on Monday, expecting to see her face and hear about her weekend. The things that school employees do for kids consistently surprises me, and makes me so happy to be around people that truly care about kids and their lives. The lovely lady that works in my classroom was asked by the 2012-2013 graduating class to be their guest speaker, and couldn't get over that she was the one that they chose. I'm so glad that the students recognize how much certain people will give just to make sure of their success, as the people who work hardest often go unnoticed. This amazing person has been known to drive 1 1/2 hours just to buy an apple pie for a high school student who promised to show up at school for three weeks straight if there was a Costco apple pie waiting at the end for him. This might sound silly or that the student needs a swift kick and a talking-to in order to straighten up, but these are often the things that make the difference between that student putting in the time to graduate, and dropping out, and the stories that the public doesn't hear during labour/wage disputes (not that I am in any way willing to dispute a solid stance on either side at this point). In the end, totally worth the trip and cost, but can seem like a silly thing to endorse on the surface. There are some truly amazing people that work in the schools I am lucky enough to be in.
Now to switch the topic! Our senior girls had their first games of the season this past week, and while I am a very quiet, unconfident contributor to strategies during the game, I think I'm picky enough to make points on form, strength and motivations after the game, and so far, I feel I'm contributing a bit to the team and I'm not really getting in the way of the head coach of the team (he is much more vocal and focused on plays during games- which is a great balance). It has been very cool to see how body positions and efficiency can transfer from gymnastics to other sports, and also fun that I can keep having an active environment to look forward to. The girls have asked me if I would be interested in working out with them/running an extra workout on Monday nights after school, which will be a fun way to get more active myself (I get so unmotivated on the prairies, and miss mountains!) and get to know the girls. This, paired with the adult ballet class I'm taking, will at least guarantee a solid workout in addition to weekends. Tomorrow we have a home tournament that goes from about 8am-8pm (depending on how we do in games), so I'm hoping to get some paperwork done between games at least!
I think I'm typed-out for a Friday night, and my coyote friends are serenading me...I love living out here!
More about spaghetti squash, runaway kids and manners next time!
Thanks for reading!