Saturday, August 20, 2011

first week of school

Well, aside from a turtle escape and soda explosion, the first week of school went off without a hitch!
Seriously though, things are off to a good start at Colegio Binimea this year. We are under new leadership as our principal and his family are on furlough this year, and we welcomed a new couple to the field, whose last name is also Miller. So now we have Miss Miller, Mr. Miller, and Mrs. Miller. Nate is teaching in the junior high and high school, and Megan is due to have a baby next month! Things are different this year, as the fifth graders and I are alone in the mornings while my colleague Walt takes the sixth graders. When the sixth graders come in halfway through the morning, we have a full class with thirteen students. I have all of the same kids from last year plus two new students. Much to the girls' dismay, the boys outnumber them. However, the kids are the same from last year; they are full of energy and eager to talk talk talk. 

This week we had some interesting discussions, including one about heaven and the fact that God has no beginning nor end. We all erupted into laughter when one girl said, "If God didn't exist, that would be so weird. You would be a...a NOTHING!" Maybe you had to be there but we died laughing. It was such a privilege to get a glimpse into their little minds as we dreamed and imagined about heaven together. If I end up teaching in the public school I know that I will miss these discussions. They are so precious to me.

I have made a goal to be a more reflective teacher this year. After hearing about and taking part in an exorbitant amount of reflection through my time at UGA, I, along with the thirty other girls in my cluster, had grown to hate the word reflection. It had really become like a four-letter word. However, I recognize the importance of reflection upon the days; the practice is a valuable one for any teacher who truly seeks to improve the ways in which she serves and relates to her students. So what I have tried to do is sit down after the kids are gone and write about the day. I do not have a particular formula per se, but I try to think about what made me happy, sad, or upset during the way and how I reacted (or responded) to certain situations. Hopefully I will learn from each day and teach differently because of it. I'm hoping that I can be a better teacher as a result.

I love just talking with my kids about life and hearing their thoughts about things. How fun school would be if I did not have to teach them anything! Just kidding...but seriously. They are quite intelligent these kiddos. In the spring, the whole school had a week of Stanford testing. I was so nervous about messing something up and somehow skewing the results of my kids. Actually I was afraid that they had not learned what they needed to know in order to do well. During our teacher inservice week, we got the opportunity to take a look at our class results, and I was very pleasantly surprised. My kids did phenomenal work! Several of them scored above their grade level in various subjects, and they all showed that they are intelligent children. It definitely had nothing to do with me.

On Monday night, we had our first Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) of the year. One of my kid's moms told me that her daughter actually liked school for the first time last year. She said that last year was the first time she did not cry and want to stay home with her mom. That meant so much to me; I had a lump in my throat as she spoke such sweet words to me. I have to say that it is not about me, though. The Lord brought me here for a purpose, and I am just honored to be a part of what He is doing here.

In other news, I spent the morning on skype with two of my closest friends from home, Katie and Haley. They live together, and we went from making and eating breakfast to beginning the preparations for lunch. I am so grateful for the friends God has blessed me with; I do not know how I would get through this life without them!

Haley, Katie and I at a NeedtoBreathe concert in ATL. Goood memories. :)

2 comments:

  1. Dear Jessica,

    I followed your link from in courage as it really spoke to my heart! I am a teacher too and just this week I felt the same way about not wanting to do this any more:( I do believe that God has placed me in teaching for a bigger reason though, so I will stick it out and do my best to do His will and sow His seeds. I hope you will do the same. Those children need a caring, wonderful teacher like you and God will help you to do what He wants you to do. God bless xx PS I have added my name as a follower, and I would be happy if we could stay in touch.

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  2. Wow what an honor to have a follower from so far away! I love incourage, don't you? What grade do you teach and how long have you been teaching? Right now I don't know if I have found my niche as a grade school teacher, but I know that I love kids and I love the Lord for bringing me here. :) Thank you for your comment and for joining my site. I would love to keep in touch.

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