Search

A Beautiful Hot Mess

Tag

education

Little Rosa

You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right. ~ Rosa Parks

A few weeks ago I had an encounter with a third grader that has stayed on my heart ever since we sat together. It’s a story of little Rosa.

As a teacher we spend time reading with the kids and having them read to us which is important in the growth of developing readers. It is usually these moments that stop me in my tracks because children will tell you their fears, hopes, dreams, you name it they tell you. On this particular day A, initialed for privacy, asked if I would sit down with her to read and because she had some questions. She was reading an non-fiction book about Martin Luther King Jr. and was already a few chapters in to the book. At the end of the chapter, the paragraph she began to read out loud to me about the woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus. We all know from history this woman is Rosa Parks.

What A and I read about Rosa was no less inspiring than any history book might cover but it was the question A asked me which hit deepest. The paragraph described a time when black people would have to stand in line at the front entrance of the bus, enter on the bus, give the bus driver their ticket, then exit off and walk to the back of the bus where they were allowed to re-enter to a seat in the back.

We all know Rosa Parks changed the trajectory of this practice, a misguided belief system which was unjust but A just read it. A paused, looked up at me and asked if this could or would ever happen to her on a bus. If I keep in mind she is a black female student in a predominately white community I can immediately begin to sense her concern. It sounded as though she wasn’t quite sure this could or would never happen again.

It was hard to fight back tears. What do I say? I can’t promise her without a doubt that injustice will never happen to her and that means every one of us holding accountability in continuing to speak up at injustice. I can reassure her that Rosa Parks is a hero because she stood for truth and empower her to hold tight to what this incredible woman did in history. To remind her that she has the same freedom regardless of any fear that surrounds us.

A is a little Rosa legacy. At the end of the day I reflect and remember the book of Esther when fear feels too great of thing to change. Rarely has choosing it over love changed the world.

Love demands that we start to push back on shame, and start showing up in our own lives. For many of us, this will be a risk. A huge leap of faith into the hopefully present but sometimes seemingly invisible arms of love. ~ Hillary McBride

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Advertisements

Confessions Of A Weary Teacher

Much like the rest of the existing world, my mind has been filled with thoughts on schools and the people who fill their hallways nearly every day. What on earth are the right answers to keep them safe? It feels like an impossible answer, a trick question nobody can seem to get right yet everyone seems to know an answer. Meanwhile the debate rages on while lives who fill the hallways continue to die tragically when it all goes wrong.

This is a snapshot of a window into our schools. It is your school, it is their school, it is my school. Most people might see a cozy welcoming entryway for our kiddos but a teacher sees preparing for the worst. You see, those curtains in this picture serve a much bigger purpose then friendly decoration. They are there for a very distinct purpose, to block the visibility of the window to the classroom. While welcoming to most visitors, the intentional reason for the placement there is for protection in an active shooter situation. Yet teachers make it look safe, nothing to panic about when we see it. Look around in a school and you will see it. Every teacher has it in some fashion or theme of their choosing but they have it.

Next look at the door itself. It is open on the inside for entry out but the handle locks from the outside once the door closes shut. Most days students come and go out of the door for various activities or when they need to go to the bathroom which is an all day occurrence. You might be thinking what happens when they have to come back in? You guessed it! Someone is always knocking on the door. To be honest it can be a huge distraction to learning. Much of the time the kiddos themselves automatically place a small magnet in the crack of the door so they don’t have to interrupt when they come back to class. Yet we live in a country where the automatic locking of the door may be what saves lives.

Nobody wants to believe this is all possible in any school until the unthinkable happens. It is easier to push it out of our minds because it is a coping mechanism until we have to accept its reality.

Last week this particular school had a lock down. It wasn’t a drill. A student had escalated to the point of throwing chairs in their classroom, consequently damaging school property and fleeing to the hallway. While there, continued to throw items at the lost and found bins toward staff who was trying to intervene. A threat to themselves and others in this escalated state means the rest of the school secured in lock down procedures. Occurring during the lunch time, the rest of the students were kept longer on recess or in the lunchroom to keep them safe from the situation.

The child I’m describing here is in first grade and I happen to have spent time with them in the classroom. The reality is some of our most innocent, youngest and most impressionable minds are at every school, your school, their school, my school. They are as young as kindergarten. The majority of the time they are as well adjusted and happy as any other child in school. In this one child’s world I’ve seen it. He happened to be student of the week the last time I was in the class and beamed with pride getting to help the teacher read a book aloud and present his show & tell. This is a kind, caring, creative kiddo but one who doesn’t function like the “regular” mold. As such he can escalate to frustration which can quickly turn to anger on to rage and the rage brings out an uncontrollable side to him. This is a child receiving care and attention at school to help him, as much extra care as possible with the resources available.

Is it enough? I’m not certain the supportive services will guarantee this child’s future. What is certain is this first grader doesn’t know how to stop himself once he escalates. What is certain is he is just like every other child I encounter who struggles most in their classroom. The more “different” episodes they experience, the more it shapes their existence. The more it effects how other people treat them.

What is certain is when not escalated he shows love toward others and in turn needs the most love. What is certain is that he needs love tenfold but the opposite so easily happens.

What is certain is seeing school staff scurry to clean up the mess so that others would not panic.

Mental health, it’s struggles, it’s challenges and risks are real no matter how much we try not to face it. Nothing is as raw as seeing it overtake a very young child’s functioning and the impact it has on their existence. Witnessing rules of existing peacefully backfire on their impressionable hearts is disheartening…I behaved badly, now others think I’m bad…my peers say I’m bad…therefore I am bad.

Social connectedness or lack there of is critical to our human experience. God wired us this way because God designed us for love. The stigma of “bad” reinforced over time has the potential to do incredibly more harm than any school support system in place to combat it.

Witnessing those lost and found items flying through the air was difficult because I see this child’s heart. Yet at the same time I could not help but see this kid suddenly lose control of his heart. In that moment I see him behind the eyes of a nineteen year old, escalated to the point of uncontrollable rage they can not control. Knowing it as a cycle that had been building long before any bullets began flying through the air.

It is not justification to take life but it is coming from a broken person. We can and should protect all of our most innocent youth. When will our country wake up when it is almost as easy to pick an AR-15 at the store as it is for this first grader to run to the lost & found? When is it enough?

Love for others, respect for human life and protection of the innocent are all things Christ taught on this earth. Not once are we to value own life and our rights over others and that includes guns.

As a teacher, the thought of spending the day armed with a concealed weapon, to possibly have to defend innocent children’s lives is a weight already heavily weighted shoulders. Even worse, the thought of taking a child’s life who has escalated beyond control is an unbearable thought because at some point or another we have also seen their fragile heart. We’ve seen it and either way we lose.

We’ve failed both. Confessions of a weary teacher.

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday wisdom roll call from third grade reading and writing gallery:

“You really don’t care what people think.”

“About what?”

“About sitting with me. About anything.”

“Why should I?” asked Dyamonde. “I know what I think, and that’s enough.”

Free just shook his head.

“You can’t do things or not do things just ’cause somebody else thinks you should. I mean, what if they’re dumb as a rock and you’re paying attention to them? That’s silly. Anyways, can I get a couple of fries or not?”

Free pushed the plate of fries toward Dyamonde and was quiet for a long while. She sure gave Free a lot to think about.

From the book:

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes

Have to admit, this teacher right here paused still as a rock…pause, pause, paused…nope can’t bite my cheeks, laugh, laugh, laughed out FREAKING loud! By the way, I happened to be the narrator reading this to the class…out loud. What can I say? I try to practice the pause but this was just the BOMB of a chapter! Make way for Dyamonde Daniel!

This my friends is like a modern day clip of a Jesus parable. Now having said that, Jesus did not say dumb as a rock in scripture but the point he made was the same. OH YES it sure was so I just stop in my tracks now when I hear it spoken in modern day terms. Note to self, those Pharisees did think they were pretty smart but we know how that went…sucked rocks.

Jesus loves rocks, he loves sucky rocks and dumb rocks which is important to remember. But he sure didn’t listen to them. Just saying.

THIS! From the third grade reading library.

Did I mention how much I love this class? T, my man, OH-EM-GEE look at your epic blue hair! Well duh, of course because this kid is the BOMB of a third grader right here! T. Martinez, he drew me the portrait above in case any of us wondered. Whether you love or hate our President you have to admit, my man T nailed it!

These guys have grown a foot since before Christmas.

And J, you stayed in class today! Although my heart is just a bit sad to hear you are leaving to a new school but I know it is going to be the help you need. Prayers for that J, praise God. Today however, is my opportunity to influence the small voice in your brain above all the other garbage that says doing the work of school isn’t for you. It is J, you just have to find the right way your brain goes about accomplishing it and the rest, well…it’s just BS.

Here is the proof…YOU DID YOUR MATH with me today. Sure, it was only after I asked you to work on it in a different way, okay maybe I tricked you but you did it! You started in on one of your adventures which I welcomed and encouraged. A kick a*% story about Scott, Cindy, Josh and you at the park taking care of the facilities and tending to the tasks of the rocks which it sounds like you actually get to do in real life. Dumb rocks. No irony there, no sarcasm. Then you cleaned some desks with Clorox wipes to keep your hands busy which is not a surprise, your hands are always creating or busy doing something! As we talked about your adventures before you knew we were throwing math in to the adventure and BOOM, math work is done. HAPPY DANCE!

Don’t tell me your brain doesn’t work J because I know it does. Don’t listen to rocks when you are a diamond. Show us how diamonds work. Small voice J, it is there, don’t ever lose it.

Hebrews 9-10 Highlights:

Christ’s tabernacle, the presence of God (Christ’s spirit) is not part of human creation. It is not built by human hands. It is different!

Jesus sets aside the first to establish the second.

Jesus puts his laws in our hearts and minds.

Small voice J, it is spirit there in our hearts and minds. In spite of rocks.

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Mindful Monday into Tuesday

Well, hello Monday! I don’t about you but life has been saying over here go ahead, make plans, double dare you. Insert laugh…there goes that thought. Humor is therapeutic to me.

This is my brain waves sitting at urgent care with my son Sunday night after a fever from h*%#, numb, passed out and weak. So there we were, oxygen mask and all on him which not going to lie, just a little tough to witness. Sadly I’m pretty sure he gets the anxiety piece from his mother among other not so pleasant traits which he is happy to remind me about on occasion. Needless to say we are fighting an aggressive infection and still are in to Tuesday.

But back to the urgent care visit. I couldn’t recall a time he had this intrusive horrible gem of a gagging medical procedure about to be done so I was very honest with him about what to expect before the doctor started in on him. An explanation without those dramatic words of course but this is what was going on in my head. Why? Because he is just like me and while I don’t like it, it is best to come out with the raw honest truth about it doctor. Don’t candy coat it, don’t try to tell us something it is not because we will see the BS in negative zero point seven seconds. Anyhoo, doc looks at him and says, well your throat is very swollen so you won’t feel a thing. I know my son, he feels EVERYTHING. Good luck with that strategy doc! No sarcasm or anything…

This is me Monday with a lot of time to read and write…last I checked no amount of sweet talking is going to change the fact that this is life. So, let’s go with the unconventional and let it stink for the moment.

I used to compound anxiety in these kinds of situations with the thinking that this must be happening because God is angry with me or I’m bad so this is why I’m sick or why I feel everything horrible about this thing I’m experiencing. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Society much like the doctor says no, don’t feel this way or that way or you won’t feel it or you shouldn’t feel it. I now hear blah, blah, blah. Don’t be this, don’t be that, blah, blah, blah. No wonder we think God is angry or something! Nope. We are all crappy people, my son and I included and crappy things happen in life and they happen to all of us. It just stinks for the moment, not forever.

I would also be lying though if I said I’m handling these hard few couple of days like a champ. Whoever said we should not acknowledge the mess? That is crap. It can stink for the moment but that does not mean it will always stay dark or always stay bright. I finished a course recently where research shows the exact opposite is needed. Learn to cultivate self-compassion with mindfulness in the good and the bad.

I’m headed in to an intensive training soon where I will be counseling children who are grieving a death, in most cases the loss of a parent or close friend. The insurmountable emotions of a tragedy like this need to be acknowledged, not stuffed away. In doing so the darkest of dark can and will become oh so bright because of Jesus.

Mindfulness is not rearranging reality, the good or bad of life. It is allowing ourselves to feel, hold and honor our reality for what is in that time and space.

Loved By Grace,

Aimee

Note To Self

Quote of the day popped up twice this morning.

You are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.

Take a deep breath.
Do not feel guilty for self compassion.
The kids will survive while you are gone.
Complete self doesn't need protecting from.
Drive safe.
Pretend it's summer when there is no sunshine.
Forgive yourself for what you did not know before you knew it.
Discomfort is a good thing, it means you are on the right track.
Go find that bad a*# book you wrote in the library and add the chapters.
God has your back.

Cultivating mindfulness and self compassion.

To be continued…

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

Miss You More

When I was in graduate school I remember sitting in our group therapy course bewildered by my expectation of the class versus the reality of what was being asked of us. You see, humanistic psychology knows we must get in to the depths of ourselves before we could ever lead another in doing the same. It seemed so backwards at the time in my young life. After all, we were all in this room going to school to help people get shit together. Naturally in my young mind it was easy to think we should probably already have ours shits together if you know what I mean?

Nope, doesn't work that way. So there I was expecting to learn about how to manage a group therapy but in fact WE, the students, were IN group therapy.

I sat in the same spot every week, a comfy chair in the corner. Yes! There but only as close as I needed to be. We had about twenty or so of us in the room with the professor. The thought of sharing any piece of myself made me completely nauseous. When it was my turn, each week I would carve out a small piece of my box and share it with the group. The smallest amount possible in order to get through this class. I remember feeling what seemed a million eyes on me wanting me so badly to give more. They inherently knew there was more to me than what the world will see.

The truth is I did not make the most of the experience but I took away with it a deep appreciation for authenticity. And in the midst of it was a group of incredibly diverse people, gathered in a safe forum, able to share nothing less than their truest, most purest selves. It would take me many more years to finally figure it out in myself.

I find myself missing that group enormously these days. There were no words such as tolerate or love anyway.
We created a space where acceptance, diversity, respect and love wasn't simply tolerated. It was embraced, celebrated, honored just exactly as the messes we are.

Sometimes it is the only therapy one needs…a place to just be. This is us, I miss you more than I loved you. ❤️

A sweet angel stopped me in my tracks this week. "Mrs. J, I need you to give me your hand." Before I knew it her little hand was holding mine. She was to be writing a story about real life. A teachers hand with hers. I like to think that space carries on with me and every now and again little blessings like this show me that it does.

I love this, I love this, I love this! I love everything about this and I just wish the rest of the world did too.

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

I’m Fine

I don't know about you but this week, this month, sure feels like a huge gigantic shit show. I would like to tell you that I'm drawing on the strength in Jesus, strength all us Christians have exponentially. While this is true, I am drawing on His strength, it is also true that I am not feeling fine.

How can we be fine with this? How can we just offer empty words that everything happens for a reason to someone who has lost everything? Whether it be from a hurricane, from an earthquake, from ever changing policy or opinion or at the hands of another human. This is horrific.

Everything happens for a reason is not a comfort to us. It might be eventually in our heavenly fathers presence but certainly not now. What does God want us to do when we just don't understand? When we can barely see past the tears struggling to hold on to our trust in Him? When we are angry and scared from tragedy and from things out of our control. What are we to do?

We can do one of two things. We can shut down our own humanity or we can pour our hearts out to Jesus. I'm not talking about the nice, well written, well spoken all positive prayers we think we should be saying to God. We can certainly speak those positive prayers and we very well should be thankful for many moments. But to pour out is to give Jesus ALL of our emotions. The good, bad and the ugly. Whether we speak them or
not we can not hide any thought from Jesus.

And the truth is I'm not very happy with God right now. I don't get it, I don't understand and I just want to make it stop. He could make it stop and He hasn't yet! None of this makes any sense! Yes, I have told Jesus every last emotion I've felt this week. He can handle it.

Shutting down our humanity because of shame instead of pouring it out to Jesus only subjects us to a life of sadness. Jesus lived in a human body, He knows humanity in its most intimate sense and while He did not succumb to the evil of shutting out good, Jesus sure faced it head on. Just like we do in all of life's tragedy and mess.

I truly believe what must be happening when someone loses touch with their humanity is they shut out good until gradually all that is left is the lie in their head that all they are is bad. Reinforced by the shutting out of good, reinforced by opinion around them, reinforced period. Once that lie is in place…why not the unspeakable or anything else for that matter?

One of the things that haunts me the most with all the news coverage of Vegas is that the shooter called his family just weeks prior to make sure they were not harmed in the wake of hurricane Irma. I don't want the focus of my blog entry to be on the shooter because his actions are horrific. But this piece of the coverage is not an indicator of someone being all evil. Yet evil prevailed in them just weeks later.

How did things go so wrong Jesus? I don't understand. I can't accept throwing our hands up in the air and directing people straight to hell. It's just not in me to give up on good.

Rewind back to school earlier this week. Children have an amazing way of restoring hope in humanity don't they? This is going to be a good day. At times I get the opportunity to work individually with at risk children and this was one of those weeks. If I had my choice this is what I would do full time, I just adore them.

In walks E who I've known for a while because I taught him last year a few times. The para and I weren't sure if he would be in to see me today since Mom has had to find an alternative way of getting him to school. You see E was suspended off the bus for behavior but he is here and we are to work on writing. This is E's fourth grade writing story so far…

"The kids are at recess and there is a bully with them. The bully has a brick, throws it at the kids and hits a kid in the head."

E needs to add more detail to finish the story. What happens after the bully hits the kid?

"The bully tries to run away from them."

Who is chasing the bully E?

"The teacher guard is chasing the bully to try to catch him."

What was happening at recess to the bully, why did the bully want to throw the brick at one of the kids? Were they hurting the bully E?

"The bully threw the brick at the kids head for fun," said E.

This right here is heart breaking. This is a child who is emotionally at risk for shutting down his humanity and in some cases is already doing it. But here is the thing, we can not assist him in shutting out the good. We can not give up. We can not let the lie of bad win.

I'm also reading a book currently which I should possibly set down because one more tragic tale is just about one too many for the week for this girl. Why did I think this was a good idea? I'm not sure. Nevertheless my reading brought me to this family's story. Perhaps I'll do a book review in more detail but it is about differing opinions in which not all supports the others choices. At the same time they are desperately hoping this loved one will accept Jesus as their savior before death. At the end of the day, it didn't happen. They passed on not believing in God.

OH EM GEE, I can't take this sweet Jesus. What on earth am I supposed to take away from all of this? After hyperventilating for a few days pouring out to him I think I finally get it. We have to be very careful about winning hearts for Jesus and while we think we are speaking truth as God might want us to speak, we are in an equal position to reinforce love. When in doubt, choose love over anything else because it is the only way to win hearts for Jesus. He would rather have us in heaven then lose us from shutting down our humanity. Which means he will take us as we are, no other emphasis needed.

At the end of the day, it is an individual choice and therefore our impact toward others is not to be taken lightly.

Mental illness is one of the biggest killers of humanity. The gun, the brick, the bomb. Whatever tool used is the culmination of human experience screaming to say, you were right.

Satan is not right. Those at risk children throwing bricks for fun are the same children who reach in the closet for their snack, pull out two bags, hand one to the teacher and say "I want you to eat with me because you need to have food too."

We can all say…WHERE IS THE KLEENEX BOX!

Good is always there for the taking and we must do everything we can to have it win in us, for us and for our children's future.

Constant prayers to all lives lost, comfort for their families and loved ones even if it is just one breath at a time with peace only Jesus can bring.

Psalm 34:18 ~ The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

Ouchie Lotion Devotion

Experienced something like this at school today. A huge care taker in this classroom…magic as a matter of fact. And I have to say, it is so fascinating to watch the children approach this thing with such confidence. Heartwarming to say the least and it made me realize a few things that must be happening in their young minds.

First, they have to know about this comforter. ~ someone must tell them.

Second, they have to believe in it. ~ someone must show them.

Third, they have to decide to use it. ~ someone must encourage them.

Yeah, I'm talking about the ouchie lotion. But honestly, don't we all need a good ouchie lotion? Sure, modern medicine cures many of life's ailments but this stuff…it is magic for everything you can imagine. Look! 🙂

How stinking adorable is this? These littles know it, believe in it and use it with unwavering trust. And I'm here to tell you…it works in amazing ways.

How we all wish there was such a thing as ouchie lotion for every hurt. Ouchie lotion is a perfect example of how these littles have faith.

Half the battle of faith is having pure childlike belief and unwavering trust.

Psychologically speaking, that kind of childlike belief calms the mind and immediately does the work of helping the hurt. It's not really magic, it's spirit.

Out of the mouths of babies:

I fell down and hurt myself so I put on the ouchie lotion.

I put on the ouchie lotion and now it will feel better tomorrow.

This is my favorite part about today. I'm calling it ouchie lotion devotion.

The Greek word is parakletos which means; called to the side of another. A comforter, counselor, encourager, advocate, helper. Someone constantly supporting and encouraging. For the Christian, our ouchie lotion is the Holy Spirit.

A few things must be happening in our minds though.

We have to know about this care taker. ~ scripture tells us.

Second, we have to believe in it. ~ scripture shows us.

Third, we have to use it. ~ scripture encourages us.

Reading scripture takes patience. It also takes the help of the spirit to teach us and speak to us as we read. I'm still reading passages over again and will undoubtedly re-read again. It's easy to get confused. Listen to the spirit and you'll never be alone. In scripture or in anything. ❤️

Not to mention strong convictions grounded in the only real ouchie lotion. Not man made.

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:16-17

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

Needed Most


This much is true…the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most. But they are also the ones we need the most to change the world.

First week, first grade, first class of the school year. The kids were on day five so they were one step ahead of this first day’er right here. Routine is uber important when you have a class full of first graders, close to thirty of them to be exact. Day five…well routine is still a work in progress so it keeps things interesting, this is for sure. Could be a beautiful hot mess. 😉

First day’er has about ten minutes to read the plans for the day then it’s time to roll with it. Fly by the seat of our pants, an official part of the job description.

In walks E with an immediate hug for Mrs. J. and a warm welcome to his class. It was my first time meeting E but I briefly learned about him in the ten short minutes to read and inhale my coffee. He complains of ongoing tummy aches but this was about all we have pinpointed about E on day five of school.

A few minutes later sure enough, E was complaining his stomach hurt. This carried on throughout the morning, during good news pawsitive behavior, carpet time and writing without tears. I kept reassuring E it was going to be okay. E made it to music and PE but when he came out of PE (gym) he said he was going to throw up. I’m not sure at this point if tummy is truth or tummy is trouble.

We made our way back to the classroom but E threw himself down in the hallway directly in front of the office. A few minutes spent at the office to get things checked out and E was back in class.

Summary from the office. E is having a hard time telling the truth and making good choices.

It was time then my friend to work… which sent E in to a fit of rage. We now had crying and throwing himself down on the floor yet again. This went on for several minutes with no change. Hoping E would make good choices while the rest of his first grade colleagues covered their ears or put on headphones to concentrate was clearly not alleviating the situation. His rage was escalating, we now had kicking feet and reaching toward others.

E came back from the office a short while later that morning. He immediately came to sit on my lap in the rocking chair as we read in a group. Most of the time this out of our seat thing is against a teachers rules, they all need to be sitting in their assigned spots. It’s part of the system, part of the routine. But I let E sit with me because I could see he needed it most. It’s not always fair but routine does not feel fair to E. Because E is not going to meet all of these rules no matter how many times we try enforcing them and half the time it just makes him feel bad about himself.

Here is the thing though. When he became too full of rage for those of us closely around him, I had no choice, it was time to enforce a boundary. He had to understand there is a too far but that too far is not final. Not for this seven year old, not if there is anything I have to say about it. We can figure this out together E.

The amazing thing about this is that E came back in to the classroom and sat directly on my lap. Whereas we might expect more anger it drew him closer instead. He listened to the book we were reading together and he had the chance for better moments. If that meant breaking some rules we were doing it.

I know as a teacher the children who will not, try to with all of their might but simply can not conform to conventional rules. I also know as a teacher we try so hard to make them do it. Not because teachers are not loving but simply because we are managing a large group of children. But I also know we can damage in to adulthood. There is no perfect formula though. For E, sitting on my lap, standing up and doing his math by my side instead of at his desk is happening. In between making bad choices towards himself or others he will feel the sting of absolute rules. But then we try again.

He was so angry with rage when he had to leave the room and certainly unhappy with me, the teacher. But he came back a different kid. We went through the same cycle in the afternoon but not as intense. He stayed in class, he worked hard on math. This is progress. Might seem small but it is progress.

E is still feeling a connection and that my friends is good news.

I’ve been with E now for a few days and I know this child struggles. He struggles with fitting in to norms and rules and expectations while the rest of the world pushes back on him. A driving force is E’s inability to manage his emotions. It’s a delicate line for him.

I am definitely not a perfectly equipped person for this calling, it tests patience to the maximum degree. But show me a classroom full of children and I will find the sweet faces who need it most. I can’t help it. They can be the most uber frustrating little people on earth
but in turn the very most loving.

I love these teaching moments beyond any words I could ever describe because they also teach me about Jesus. We all go too far with something in this life. But our teacher is patient. He knows we won’t learn unless something stops us in our tracks. Jesus loves us too much not to stop us. We might scream, have fits of rage and refuse to go to the office but He always lets us come back and try again.

And so…it’s been a happy first week of first grade so far with many new faces. E hugged me goodbye at the end of the day and asked if I happen to keep a husband around. To which he boldly replied “oh man” so I’m not sure if he was planning to propose or what…so stinking cute.

Another little man to adopt if I could.

Loved By Grace,
Aimee

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑