Sunday, October 22, 2006

For the love of books

Every time I read a book to my students, I tell them how much I love the particular book we are reading. This week one of them finally said "Ms. J, you say that about every book!" Well, I guess it's true, I love books.

I guess I have to contribute my love of books to my very unique childhood. I was homeschooled from Kindergarten to Third grade, and that is most definitely where my love of reading began. Being homeschooled allowed me to have one on one interaction with my mom as we sat in our basement in the woods of Wisconsin and read. We read a lot. There were weekly trips to the library, where I would explore and find new favorites, and always check out the tried and true ones. I think that my love of books was encouraged by my being homeschooled, since I was able to march to the beat of my own drum.

I am proud now, to say that I was homeschooled, even in the public school setting, where it is often looked down upon. I am glad that my mom made a decision to invest in my brother and my sister and I, even though it was not the wisest decision financially. It is so amazing to see her now, being blessed by God because she made that decision 20 years ago. I am thankful and blessed.

So hopefully, I'll pass my love of reading onto my TV watching, video game playing students. Maybe one day they will tell a child in their life "Oh I love this book. My teacher used to read it to me". And in the meantime, I'll keep reading to them, and keep loving books.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Three ring cirus

I have decided this week that teaching is like working in a three ring circus. Also, instead of being the ringleader, I more like the clown that comes out while everything else is going on, trying to steal the spotlight. This week has been completely indescribable. I had a student start a fire in my room on Monday, while I was at meetings all day. He obviously saw having a substitute as a moment of vulnerability. During a break one of the facilitators of the meeting came in and had a message for me to call school as soon as I had a break. With my heart pounding I called school, wondering what in the world they would need me for. I found out all the details and had a restless afternoon and evening waiting to get back to school. It is pretty amazing how fast they cleaned everything up. Besides smelling strongly like cleaning materials, my room was amazingly not too disturbed, thanks to the people who worked overnight to make sure we could be there on Tuesday.

Obviously that threw our week off a bit. Yesterday afternoon I was completely burned out and tired. I felt numb. It was funny because I felt like I was watching my class from the ceiling. I have pyromaniac; one student who has been in the office all morning because he made an explicit comment; a student who has a hand on his desk, pushing himself up and down as he hits himself on the butt with the other hand; someone chewing on his backpack strap while still wondering why I didn't let him eat the marshmallow from science that fell on the floor; an ultra-quiet girl, who hardly ever smiles, but does amazingly well in school. There are papers all over the floor, backpacks are on the backs but unzipped and close to losing their contents. Maybe we should blame all the crazy on the smell...oh, I work with some great kiddos!