Saturday, October 29, 2011
Everyone knows the opening line... "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." Maybe the reason it sticks in our memories is that it happens oh so often - the highest of highs placed cheek and jowl next to the worst. "Flying high in April, and shot down in May" opines one famous song after beginning with "That's life. That's what people say."
Well this guy can bring some fresh evidence to those thoughts.
Just finished my second week of full time teaching a combined class of 3rd and 4th graders and Charles Dickens has got nothing on me. There were times these past two weeks that it seemed as if we were going to race to the top together. And there were other times I wondered how it was going to work. As a teacher, I have to remind myself that these are kids who are wholly and dearly loved by God and made in His image. When I relate to them, I am in a sense that "pencil in the hand of God" that Mother Teresa so famously wrote about and emulated with her life. What I do matters. It matters more than a grade on a paper or an inscription in that infamous "permanent record." So whether the child is "full of grace" or "full of woe", they deserve everything I have to give.
The week began with a teacher workday and a holiday for the kids. That coupled with a half-day workshop I had to attend on Tuesday morning did not help us launch well. Tuesday afternoon was then turned into a review, and we didn't really get moving until Wednesday. But by Friday, we were right where we should have been, and I think they left excited about what next week would be bringing. We started a class-wide project on the earliest Floridians that had them racing to research. :) Awesome to see. I set up a special search page for them to use and they found so much information they wanted to print out and read later I realized I needed two printers to keep up. Here's the link for the page: http://searchteam.com/search_1_2621_6543_Early_Florida
I'm hoping to gradually increase their use of technology for learning gains, and this is only the beginning. Each child will produce an "e-book" using Power Point as their work product. Hopefully they will be content and image rich and really help them learn about part of Florida's History that at least in my research is incredibly interesting.
My mentor teacher Mrs. Hudson and our principal Dr Combs both gave me the gift of their time this week as they worked to help me become the teacher I want to be. The cohort of teachers at Eglin is so supportive of each other that I truly feel blessed to be placed here. I'm learning every single day.
I want these kids to look back and say "Mr. Wilson believed in me." But more than that, I want them to believe in themselves.
So goodbye week two. Let's roll.