Almost normal 

I always open my classes with “Good morning!” or “How’s it going?” But usually I hear only one or two responses…or just crickets. I’m not sure why I continue to do it. I guess it seems like the polite and natural way to open class. 

Today, though, I walked into my first hour class and told them good morning. I felt like the whole class said “Good morning!” back. Like, in seven years of teaching, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such an enthusiastic response. One kid even said, “It’s a great day to be a Redskin!” (He was being serious, I think–we just won a major game on the road last weekend.) It was precious. I needed that energy first thing in the morning. 

*****

On the first day of school I wrote about how a girl asked me so genuinely how I was doing that day that it choked me up. I made it a point to write to her momma so that she knew what a kind and sincere girl she’s raised. As I was meeting students at my door, I saw this girl walking towards me with a big grin. She scooped me up (I’m smaller than all of them) and told me she started crying when she read the letter. 

I’m pretty sure I had a goal to write a positive letter to at least one parent every week a while back. I think I need to reinstate that goal. 

*****

One of my kids in Intermediate has already asked what errands she can run for me. Today I actually did have some worksheets that needed to be taken to a principal’s office. She did that gladly once her own work was done. When she got back, she asked if there was anything else she could help with. There was a boy in the back that I felt was struggling a bit, but also doesn’t really like to talk to me or anyone else (not in a malicious way…just a keep-to-yourself kind of way). I told the girl that she could see if he needed any help. Part of me was just curious how she would react. The two kids are different: different genders, different races, definitely different volume levels when it comes to speaking. But she didn’t bat an eye. She went right over there and asked if he needed any help. 

*****

It started raining during my last class. I said something about how I usually just walk over to pick Jonas up but that I’d have to figure something else out today. A girl asked how old Jonas is. I said he’ll be seven months tomorrow. 

“Dang, that sucks! Leaving him when he’s so little!”

Not all of them have learned what a filter is…and sometimes that’s kind of nice. Honesty can be refreshing. 

I told her that yes, it does hurt–some days more than others. But that I’m doing what I love, and that’s very important. 

She approved of that answer. 😉

*****

Classes are getting easier. Names are coming to me quickly. And each hour is starting to understand how I expect my classroom to run. I am chasing that normalacy that I know does eventually occur; and though I’m not there yet, I’m definitely getting closer…

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