"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Confessions of a Title 1 teacher

-- and other things that have me irritated....

So for those of you who know or don't know I teach at a very low income school.  This is what I wanted to do from the get go.  I always wanted to teach kids from difficult backgrounds and change lives, etc.  And I've done it for the last 5+ years.  I've learned an awful lot about patience and my own struggles with compassion.  At the end of the year, I am always so amazed with how far I get the kids to come.  But there are just those moments that they just make me cry.

Like right now.  Because I have a thief.  I've had a pressure ball stolen.  Some of my Christmas gel clings have been stolen.  And then today, half of my Christmas cookies that were a gift from a teacher were stolen.  I don't even know how they manage to do this.  But its just depressing.  Maybe I'm being silly.  I know they don't have a lot of food, toys, anything at home.  But why must they steal to get it.  It's just so wrong you know.  And I don't know who it is to teach them.  It seems like I have one every year who does this...

It just makes me so disappointed and angry at the same time.  Loving them is hard...  And yet at the same time, I absolutely adore each one...  Complicated mess.

In other fun news: I got to dress 'grunge' like for twin day at school.  I happen to own the most perfectly destroyed in the knees jeans.  I've worn those bad boys so thin and I love it.  However, they also have a worn slightly inappropriate hole on my thigh, which I taped for school.  Winning.

Jude and I finished getting our house decorated (inside only).  The most adorable part of it is that I let him hang basically every ornament.  Some of them he couldn't figure out, so I would hang up.  But basically, he was in charge.  All our ornaments are congregated in the same 3 spots.  You can see one of his clusters up there.  So cute.  Such a gift that child is.

Last in honor of the 80* weather we are currently having in North Texas, Jude and I ate our breakfast on the porch yesterday morning.  It was lovely.  Bacon, eggs, and muffins are our usual weekend tradition.  But adding eating outside to the mix made it perfection.  Sure, I'd rather snow in December.  But it was a fun memory and I will take it any day.

Lastly, there is something else bothering me, but in avoidance of being rude, I will just say this.  I think that children's ministry is a very important thing for people to do.  I don't know if it gets overlooked because it doesn't seem to involve saving souls or what.  But I personally appreciate every person who's ever volunteered their time there.  First of all, Jude's prayers for the last year have included "Dear Jesus, thank you for saving me".  I didn't teach him that, and I really appreciate the leaders he has had for teaching him the most important part.  He learns great things from Sunday School.  Things that are building the right foundation.  And as a single parent, I really need people like that in his life, helping me.  If per se the 3 year old room is too full, he misses those great foundational lessons for another week (or more if we were to continue to get there and the room be full).  Second, for me going to church is like another round of chemo.  I desperately desperately need that recharge, that worship time where I'm just communing in the Presence of God.  When I have to take Jude in with me, there's no worship being done.  Honestly.  Very little.  I spend all my time dealing with Jude.  And growing overwhelmed.  It just gets my week started off all wrong.  I don't know how to fully express how much I need church in my life.  But it depends on people who are watching Jude while I worship.  Thirdly, its foundational to the family unit.  When the parents get to recenter themselves and focus on God, they are able to lead the family the right way.  So all this to say, children's ministry really is important.  If you aren't serving in the church, I suggest it.  I for one, am quite grateful for those who do.

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Heather N. said...

Thank you for what you do! I am a stay-at-home mom but I went to school for teaching and did my student teaching at one of the local city schools - "complicated mess" is such a perfect caption. Just love them. They need it. Shame about the Sunday School situation. Prayers for you so you can get the refreshing that you need! God Bless!

katebradley said...

Hmm...If the 3 year old class is full, will they take him in the 2's or the 4's? Coming from lots of children's ministry experience, he should be able to go into any of those rooms. Our pre-k class is older 2-5 year olds and they all get along great. It's like differentiated instruction :)

ThistleAshD said...

Kate- you would think. This particular church has this problem a lot, and it's not where I normally go. My guess is its a combined problem of people needing to step up and administrative problems. :/

ThistleAshD said...

Heather- thanks for the prayers! that and loving them is always the answer :)