The flu is going around, and I caught it. After being home sick for two days (something to do with being quarantined for 24 hours after getting rid of a fever, even though I still have a mild one? Doesn’t matter, the point is that I was sicker than the past two times…) and returning to more sick coworkers and students I was forewarned that I may end up teaching on Friday. No big deal, right? As an aide for two and a half months I should have this down.
Let me tell you something, teaching is hard work. I have never followed a lesson plan before, and I am grateful that I work with the most organized person I know. I actually have never seen a lesson plan before and didn’t know what curricula looked like!
Anyway, the Director told us to go and have an extended playtime, which we did, and my aide for the day, Puppylove’s* mom, was out on the floor playing with the kids. (I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten a glimpse into the kind of mom I’m going to look like and be… She’s amazing – so, there’s hope for me!) As we get back to the room we switch up the routine a bit starting with pledges. I almost botch pledges, it’s not looking to be a promising morning… I waltz into Bible time which is a review on what heaven is and how you get to heaven. I almost pray circles in front of the kids so I cut it short and we do the memory verse of the week instead.
With more playtime introduced the slightly-bored children pick up their spirits and remain cute as they fight among themselves in the classroom. Puppylove’s mama helped me smooth over some rough patches, and she’s a wizard! I guess having four boys will do that to you… We finally got the kids through another round of bathroom and water breaks and then I settled into some phonics (Nicky Narwhal), counting to 20, name recognition, and a story about Amber Lamb, but not all in that order. Somewhere along the lines I started bumbling along again and missed a lot of important things, like singing the phonics song, but the moment we got them to color/count their numbers (7, because I couldn’t find what number we were actually on for the week) they were much more settled and happy. We did have a boo-boo when C-Bug hit her head on the table which required the pick-me-up Popsicle, but we made it through dismissal, lunch, breaks, and our times to leave.
After this exhausting day I hopped into my car and only then realized how much of a student I had become – a genuine student. These kids were teaching me things that I could only pray would seep in through the lesson plans: patience, kindness, gentleness, and respect. It is odd to me that they’re only beginning to grapple with these intangible but valuable attributes, and I have to be the model for them. I do so much studying on my free time and I am guarding my words closer than ever – their lessons in self-control are really making me learn to control myself… So maybe next time will be better.
*Names changed to protect the tiny humans