Saturday, September 17, 2011

a drop in the ocean

Since my last post, both pre-K and elementary programs have started, and life has gotten pretty crazy. In the elementary program, I have the 1st and 2nd graders, which is wonderful but exhausting. I've had 6-8 students every day, and they've gone from angels to screaming and running in circles around the classroom. I have discovered, though, that the more prepared I am for homework time (i.e. the classroom set up, extra work for whoever finishes their hw, distractions out of reach), the better the kids are.

For the most part the kids are pretty good - there are a couple of trouble makers, one little boy with a short attention span (think "i'm bored" every five seconds), and another who is easily distracted (by anything and everything). One of the six year old girls, Kenyatta, has been consistently good every day, even when everyone else in the class is running and screaming. She is just the cutest, most precious girl. And another boy, Z (the easily distracted one), is precocious and so darn cute that I can't even really get mad at him when he gets distracted.

Z, eating his birthday cupcake!

The pre-K program started the 14th instead of the 12th, so we've only had two days of program so far, but they were super fun. We have 6 students signed up, but only 3 have come so far - Najamoney, Christina, and Nakeem. The girls are good - they've been best friends from day one - but Nakeem can get a little whiny and throws temper tantrums if he doesn't get his way...hopefully he'll learn quickly that that's not going to work in pre-K. 

Overall I feel like I'm starting to settle into my place at BFF nicely...I'm still getting used to program, and there are new experiences every day. Today, for instance, Kenyatta told me that her mom never wanted kids and is annoyed by her and her twin brother Kimball. It blew my mind and broke my heart that a six-year-old would ever hear her mother tell her that she was unwanted, and especially that she was so matter-of-fact about it - she just accepted that her mother didn't want her. I had no idea what to say to that, but I think what ended up coming out was that I didn't think she was annoying, and her mom was lucky to have her and her brother. It's strange to me that this sort of announcement and experience is normal in these children's makes me want to take them all home and tell them how special and good they are. I'm praying that by spending time with them and working in the programs at BFF, they'll realize that.

There are times when I feel like what I do or say at work isn't truly going to make a difference - that whether my kids sit quietly and do their work or run around the room doesn't matter - but I keep telling myself that it does...I guess I'm just hoping that I'm right.

I find inspiration in this quote from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta:

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."

peace. :)

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