Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Best Job Ever

I know it's been a while.

Okay...I know it has been a long while.

This has been a trying challenging school year.

Seems like I just might say that every year but this year...
well, this year it isn't just me.

The entire school whispers about the kindergarteners, and believe you me, those whispers are not filled with joyous anticipation of a future opportunity to teach these little ones when we have done all we can with them. Let's just say that the 1st through 5th grade teachers are all checking retirement dates.  Smile.

(I'm not kidding.)

It's all good, though.  I know it is a kindergarten teacher's job to tame the little monsters rascals. It falls on us and their pre-k teachers to civilize them and teach them about school words, school manners and school behavior and it is very much like trying to herd crazed chickens all in one direction.

It is just an unusual year in that every class has two or more...shall we say, special challenges.

I'm not just talking about behavior issues although some of our babies have us earning every bit of our salaries and then some.

We are feeding more of them, dressing more of them, comforting more of them and sending home more toothbrushes and shoelaces than every before. We are talking them through big feelings about events in their lives that children should never have to experience.

Kids today see too much, know too much and experience too much. What was once unusual and cause for open mouthed disbelief has become the norm and teachers now find themselves surprised by the occasional 'innocent' students we find in our classrooms.

God bless the innocent ones because they are often the ones that can soothe our souls when we have tried and failed to help their less blessed counterparts. If you are a parent of a young child who refers to 'shut-up' as the S word, 'dumb' as the D word and identifies 'fart' as the F word then God bless you too.

So yes, we find ourselves doing more. Much more.

Yes, I am braiding her hair untouched since I braided it the day before or letting him sleep during calendar time this morning because I know about what happened at home last night.

Yes, I am telling them that sometimes the kid has to remind the parent that homework is a 'have to' not a 'choice' and that if that doesn't work to be honest and tell me so that I can find a time to practice sight words with them at school.

Yes, I am pushing them, raising the bar beyond what society might expect considering their special needs. I am tolerating their differences while teaching their peers to do the same.

Yes, I am loving them as much and as hard as I can even though others might think I am too soft, too easy or too tolerant.

Sometimes that is all I can do and sometimes I am the only one that will.

Is it odd that I feel honored to be that person for them.

Surely it isn't. Because at least once a day one or more of the other teachers I work with will say, "This is the best job, ever!"

And it is.

1 comment:

  1. It is the best job ever! I love to watch you teach. The passion you have for what you do and for every child you teach is a joy to witness. To you and all the other teachers, thank you for what you do! Every parent should spend a day in a classroom.