Today was actually a good day. It’s hard to pinpoint what made it a good day, it just was. And the funniest part? School actually contributed to my good mood (somewhat).
The morning started out like any other with the millions of children (I have 34) coming into the classroom for breakfast. We did our thing like always; we ate breakfast, changed to our leveled reading classes and continued about our morning. Nothing remarkable, nothing mood altering, just typical Wednesday. For the most part, everyone worked hard, everyone was respectful, and everyone walked out with a little bit more understanding of why character traits are important in a narrative.
Then it was time to change back to our homeroom classes. This is usually a busy and loud time of day where I just feel like screaming “SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET FOR 5 MINUTES!” I stepped in the hall to talk to another teacher about a student when I slipped on something and went down hard. There were a quite a few students in the hall, but it was pretty anticlimactic. It didn’t hurt (though I have a giant bruise now). But what happened next did.
Someone laughed. And not just someone. A child. An 8 year old laughed at me. And then I cried. I wasn’t crying because I fell, I was crying because an 8 year old was mean to me. Yes. I am 34 years old. Yes, this kind of disrespect happens at my school daily. Yes, I realize that kid’s opinion of me means nothing, but in that moment, my feelings were hurt. By a child.
But then a funny thing happened. My entire class crowded around me. Through the chorus of “what’s wrong” and the many, many hugs I was able to tell them I fell and that while I wasn’t hurt, my feelings were hurt by another student. And they were upset. They were upset that someone would hurt me, even if it was just my feelings.
And in that moment I felt truly loved by these little people, in a way I don’t think most teachers get to feel, at least not in my school. In the 11 weeks that I’ve been with my 35 little friends I’ve questioned how much of a difference I’ve actually made in their lives. Some days I feel like we’re getting somewhere, but most days I want to throw up my hands and walk out. The fights, petty bickering, and whining and arguing get to me on a daily basis (Seriously, why can’t you just keep your hands to yourself?!?!?! How is that so hard?????)
But not today. I heard their concern. I saw their love. And for the first time I thought maybe I can do this for the next 100 days. Maybe we actually are getting somewhere. Maybe we actually are going to be OK.