Thursday, September 11, 2008

Inservice is over; no more putting equipment in kitchens and no more sewing the examples for our projects.
First week of rules and expectations is finally done; we can cook and hopefully not injure anyone.
Now we're down to two days a week, and three days of long boring classes that aren't fun anymore.
I miss my students.
I really miss my students.
We're back to our overwhelmed state, the information over-load, and we're pissed; we want to be in the classroom as the teacher, not back at the desk as the student.
I don't want to talk about What Works in schools, I want to be there. I don't want to write about Development, I want to be part of it. I don't want to read about Diverse Populations, I want to talk to those students. I don't know it all, but I want to teach FACS instead of just analyze it.
I want to talk to Meghann (my Cheri McVey), and Cole (my Randy McNeal). I want to ask Ashley (my Noella Thomas) and Travis (my David Flach) how their weekends were. I want Jenni (my Kiersten Luginbill) and Gaven (my Rashaad Newsome) to tell me what they cooked at home for their parents. I care more about teaching my 6th graders about knife safety than I do about annotated bibliographies.
I wondered for a while if maybe I'd just be a professional student for a while longer - but I'm totally addicted . . . to the smiles, the hugs in the hall, the excited "Ms. Tompkins!", the smoking ovens, and the burning cookies, and the sheer joy of an edible end-product.

But, for the next 9 weeks I get to journey with my fellow MAT'ers, on the rest of our learning experience. And I'll take courage in the longing I see in their eyes and hear in their voices. I'll gain hope through Amy and Collin and Josh's honesty. I'll take hold of peace through the laughter initiated by Derek and Brady and Finney. And I'll recognize purpose when Kelsey and Courtney and Meaghan share. Together we'll make it through. Together we'll make this experience very rich.

Now I am off to sew a toga and listen to Chris Tomlin and Joshua Radin's new albums; because I refuse to do homework before Saturday. And I leave you with this poem, and maybe another glimpse of my heart for the classroom.

I have come to a frightening conclusion.
I am the decisive element in the classroom.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood the makes the weather.
As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations it is my response that
decides whether a crisis will be escalated
or de-escalated, and
a child is humanized or dehumanized.
-Haim Ginott

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