Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When all you got to keep is strong

1. The past week has been underscored by a struggle with a mild bout of depression, possibly brought about at least in part by several gloomy, rainy days in a row. I have muddled through, managed to accomplish work both practical and creative in spite of the struggle, and think (hope) I am muddling through the tail end of the downswing.

2. My boys are bright and wonderful. (But we already knew that, didn't we?) First quarter report cards and conferences were all thumbs up, and fall break is in sight. (Three hours of school tomorrow before an early dismissal.)

3. The language arts substitute teacher they had for the first quarter stopped me in the hall Friday, her last day, to let me know how very awesome she thinks Michael is. In summary, she noted that yes, he has a somewhat nontraditional way of thinking and doing things, but she appreciates how very brilliantly that nontraditional mind works. Which is how I've always felt about him, so it was nice to know that other people, teachers even, are capable of taking him as he is and encouraging him instead of trying to cram him into some other, more acceptable mold. (And we all know how vehemently I oppose the cramming of people into molds that do not fit them.)

4. Apparently, several kindergarten parents have commented that their children sometimes plead to be allowed to go to extended care after school each day. I may be doing something right? On a more personal level, I have noticed that my toughest sell, a young man with blondeblondeblonde hair and a penchant for digging holes on the playground, has over the last nine weeks gone from barely speaking to me to calling me merely "Teacher" to gleefully calling out "Hi, Ms. Lori!" as he comes into the room each day. During lunch, I usually roam up and down the table and stop to talk to the kids once in a while if there are no milk cartons in need of opening or behaviors in need of correction. Last week, he stopped me as I came past his end of the table, by reaching out to playfully stomp my foot and scowl at me. I crouched down beside him. "Do you need your applesauce opened?" "No." "Need a spoon?" "No!" "What do you need, then?" "I want you to talk to me!"


5. Did I mention that fall break is a mere three hours of school away? I do not have to work tomorrow, so it'll be a quick drop off of kids, a grocery run, a couple blissful hours of silence, and a short sit in the car line to pick them up again. And then we have our lives all to ourselves for four whole days.

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