Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rediscovering 3rd & 4th Grade

I was walking by the ad building this morning on my way to my next class, when I noticed flower pots on a small deck on the side of the building. They were long and skinny, and they connected to the top of the railing. This is silly, but instantly I thought of my Barbie houses I use to play with as a kid. I immediately got flashbacks of setting up for hours to play Barbie with my sister and then watching her leave just as we got set up. I could sit and play there alone for hours. I started thinking of all the days I spent locked up in my room playing "House" or "School" or "Library" those were the BEST! I wonder if I ever REALLY wanted to be a teacher. Deep down. I LOVED helping Teddy (with lipstick stains), D.W. (from Arthur), and Brittany (my cowgirl doll) learn how to read and color. Maybe I should teach? I never even considered that an option as a kid, I already knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do, and no one was going to change that. I never thought I would loose that extra umph to carry me through everyone's discouraging comments. I had done so well...
This afternoon, at work I took my 3rd and 4th graders out for recess and came across a few girls I had been a counselor for at camp. They sat on the side walk pulling stings out of their pockets and tying them in knots. They informed me that " [they] were a club and no one else [could] join, but would [I] like a headband?" Silly girls.
I watched the boys play dodgeball. How harsh they were to those poor girls. Peyton always stands next to me during recess telling me jokes to make me laugh, and I asked her today if she ever plays with them. "Nope, the boys are mean. If you're a girl they always try to get you out first, and they throw SO hard!" Wow. Nothing changes. 3rd grade is the same as ever. I wondered what all those boys would be like in about 10 years, all grown up and polite to those girls. I can't wait to see.
Back in the classroom I was grading the math papers for the day, and all the kids were sharing how they could make the world a better place by doing kind things. Emma, one of my favorites, said this: "We should stop recylcing and start picking up liter to save the trees and plants 'cause that's really nice and it will save their lives and make the world a good place to live and..." She rattled on and on and it made no sense at all, but it made me want to laugh. And then she ended it like this. "So, we should just recycle."
These kids are SO PASSIONATE about life. They know what they stand for and no one is going to change their minds. They have EVERYTHING figured out, it's all so simple! I go to this school everyday to take kids out to recess, grade papers, play with them, tell them "yes you can go the bathroom", answer questions on homework, hand them back to their parents in one piece. I feel like a teacher for a couple hours a day. But really, I learn something new every hour I'm there. These kids are MY teachers. They're teaching me how to become "like a child." They're teaching me to rediscover these gifts in life. These passions we're all designed to possess. They're teaching me to find myself and give myself. Free myself and be myself. I leave everyday with arms stretched wide thinking, What's next world? Throw it at me fast. I'm hard-boiled and ready.

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