I can spot them in a crowded playground. I can pick their voices out in a noisy lunchroom. I'm already hating the thought of leaving them in late October when the teacher I'm subbing returns from pregnancy leave. Three weeks in, they are my kids... until they aren't.
16 hearts that rise and fall over "who likes who" one minute and how they did on a math test the next... cause me to work so hard that last week I came home on Friday, fell asleep on the couch at 4:30, slept until 6:30, stayed up another two hours then crashed for TEN hours. I've graded dozens of papers, searched for the absolute best way to teach the curriculum, and spent time learning how to use the technology I have access to. It's a testimony to the human ability to adapt and overcome that I'm awake right now and doing pretty well. But it's the third week in.
By now I've realized that my belief in them isn't always returned by their best effort. I can pull some into the teaching by using unique strategies and my immense personal charm... (insert laugh here) but not all of them and not all the time. I've seen them fail when they shouldn't have and seen them enjoy success and not learn from it. My commitment to teaching them the facts they need is only part of what I'm working to get across. I want them to learn to learn. I want them to embrace personal responsibility for their actions and their inactions. That doesn't make me the good guy some of the time though. So be it. I want the best for them and out of them so this year will be one they look back on with pride of accomplishment.
Every morning as I put their chairs back on the floor, I quietly voice a prayer for each of them by name - that on the day that's about to unfold I will be able to lead them to learn and to grow. Yes, I ask to come God into the classroom, everyday. And He does.
Three weeks in.