Monday, July 5, 2010

Deep in the Heart of Texas

I have been in the classroom for 2 weeks now, and I think I have aged 5 years. There have been many adventures. From 12-year-olds crawling on my classroom floor, to exposure to Spanish words I don’t understand and probably wouldn’t know the meaning of if I did, to literally jumping up and down every time someone makes a 100 on a quiz, there is never a dull moment.

Although the first day was one of the most challenging 1.5 hours of my life, I have to admit it has only gotten better. Every day seems like a small victory as I see my students not only grasp concepts, but also warm up to me. Last Friday, I think I finally broke through and I am slowly falling in love with each and every one of the 6th graders in my class. I now get hugs in the hallway, adorable lunch conversations, and the highlight of the last three weeks…11 of my 13 students got 100s on Friday’s quiz!!

I honestly came into this “Institute” experience thinking it was going to be the worst five weeks of my life, and, now, with only two weeks left, I am dreading getting on the plane home. I want to stay here with my students and teach them all I can.

It was all I could have hoped for to have a job I wouldn’t mind going to every day. But this job…I can’t wait to get back in the classroom every morning. I can’t wait to see what new adventures they have in store for me. I never thought I would be the type of person to rave about her job, but, people, I am raving! I am having the time of my life!

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In other news, I should definitely fill you in on the all-around Southernness of this experience. I mean, I am in TEXAS. I have taken it upon myself to educate all the Yankees I am encountering on the meaning of living in the South. Yesterday, for the 4th of July, I orchestrated an “America” themed power hour. This consisted of only country music, because in my very strong opinion Southerners are as American as you can get. It doesn’t get any more American than sweet tea, chicken fried steak, Steel Magnolias and a good Southern twang. And the 4th of July is never more authentic than down in the heart of Texas.

Yesterday, we celebrated by going to Freedom over Texas. We lounged in a huge park while listening to Little Big Town sing Boondocks and Bring It On Home to Me, and, if I’m being honest, I got a little emotional over the fireworks display. I mean, if you really stop to think about what freedom means, how could you not get a little teary eyed?

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