Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"What do I stand for? Most nights, I don't know. Anymore..."

"Some nights, I stay up, cashin' in my bad luck. Some nights, I call it a draw..." ~Some Nights (Fun)- [Music Video click here]

And some nights (like tonight I will), I stay up thinking I could write a book. Good thing I don't have time/energy for that! :) I can't get this song out of my head right now! Go check it out on YouTube. It's SO motivational! It's the one that goes: "But most nights I don't know what I stand for! What do I stand for?  Oh woah, oh woah, oh woah, oh ohh"

And some nights I do wonder if it was worth it to jump through all those hoops in college. And why should I continue jumping through hoops to get my M.Ed? But here's the kicker that makes it ALL worth it: My little first grader that I've now taught for 9 months finally hugged me today (for the very first time). He doesn't like human touch. At all. He closes up and freezes and sometimes he screams bloody murder just because your skin accidentally graced his skin or clothing! But today, he asked for a hug. And I had to teach him to put his arms out. And the poor child hugged me. :) Sad thing is, he really needed that hug more than I did today.

Today we had the worst day so far. I know it was: a) because of the weather, b) because some behaviors start in the morning before you even get the chance to say Good Morning! c) our parapro is out all week on training - no change is ever bueno, and finally because d) we received a new little challenging student that sets all the other students off like dominoes (literally). And we [the other students] haven't quite learned how to respond appropriately to the new student's behavior.

So naturally, today was a disaster. The funny thing, was that I was supposed to be at a workshop, also. But I requested to be excused due to the fact that my para was out as well. Luckily, they granted my wish, but unfortunately, it was still a disaster, and I did everything I could to keep control of the reins. And finally, I gave up and said: "Tomorrow will be a better day, and we'll try again then."

Later, I remembered that every down day has it's ups. But today, throughout all the chaos, one student was proof that I'm doing something right. That boy gave me more than a hug today. He sent chills down my back as if giving me a message; a sign that I have been able to make a connection with him that he hasn't had with anybody else. He showed me that despite everything going on in his crazy home life, he knows he can feel safe in my classroom. He showed me that by creating that sense of security in the classroom, he can finally be himself and get past his fears and insecurities. I realized: "This is what I stand for." THAT, was the best hug I've ever had in my life. That might be my most memorable teaching moment so far. Years from now, I may never remember this whole chaotic day. I may never remember that I put everything behind me and rushed out of work to make it to my ASU class today. But I will ALWAYS remember that hug, and this child, and the importance of building my students a security net.

And I will never forget that I'm here to make a difference. Even if it is one hug at a time. Somebody's got to do it. Why not me?

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