WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I have to admit 5:45 AM came incredibly early, especially for this night owl! Making matters worse is that even though I went to bed at a respectable 10:30, as I laid there I repeatedly thought of things I'd forgotten. At first I would just jot them down on a post-it beside my bed, but after awhile I realised I would not be able to sleep with so much undone so I got up to tackle at least some of the items... I was back in bed by 12:45, and sleep finally came.
With much coffee I was able to greet today with an eventual smile, but I have to admit I did have butterflies in my stomach. I was moving a bit slower then Paul would prefer, but we left here by 7:08 and were at the school by 7:20, a full ten minutes before our 7:30 goal!
As the kids started to arrive I tried to hide my nerves, because teens, they can smell fear! I didn't have too much trouble since our administrator is new this year too and she was way more nervous than I was. I looked cool as a cucumber next to her! I felt for her, but think she will be great at her job. She is kinda soft spoken but I personally think that will make her more approachable to the kids. She is an excellent listener, and takes action immediatly if necessary, truly loves the Lord and deeply cares about the school and students. I think she is going to be great and Paul and I have been doing everything in our power this summer to help her.
I don't want to focus too much on the negative from last year, but last year they also had a new administrator who had some interesting ideas about how to run a school. She, in her effort to make her vision come to fruition, made a lot of changes then ended the year with dissatisfied staff and student with bad grades and worse attitudes... We (the staff) spent much of the last month meeting again and again to discuss what was and wasn't working and to come up with solutions to the issues. It seems to have paid off so far. We were worried that the completely revised student handbook would be a problem for the kids, but they seem to have fully embraced all the changes. One student actually thanked us for bringing back some of the rules.
They start the day with pledges and a devotion. Paul led the devotion this morning and he did a really good job (if I do say so myself) and then it was time for the administrator to do announcements... She did a great job with them and then I was on... First period I have Marine Biology which is my upper level class. I think it went really well. All the students except one were returning students so it was pretty relaxed. I won instant "brownie points" for telling them they can bring coffee (and other beverages) into my class. We went over all my class expectations and because it was the first day we had time to just visit some too. My second period is Biology which was all grades 9 & 10. I only had one returning student in that class so it was significantly quieter to start off. We hit our stride though and over all it was another really good class. My third and final class is health. That class is FULL... Unlike my other two classes that have 6-8 students I have 12 in health class. I know this is still a really small class compared to public school but it definatly changes the dynamic. This class also has all grade levels, and that makes it tricky too, but I am also very excited to dig into the curriculum. We went over my expectation then dug into the text introduction. It was really good and that class flew by way too fast. We talked about the difference between a "worldly" view of healthy versus a "Christian" view of what is and is not healthy... It was an awesome discussion and we all seemed to hit it off.
The highlights of my day were numerous, but I'll just share a couple. In each of my classes I told the kids how they can reach me between classes and what times I am available, but I told them if they ever need to call/email me to pray with them or with a prayer request or because they need someone to talk to I am always available to them. They actually seemed to like this and at the end of the day I checked my email and there was already a prayer request that one of them had sent me. It was of a personal nature, so I don't want to say more, but I was touched that I had already connected with one of my students enough for them to trust me with this. Another highlight was during my third period class I had a kid who was being really disruptive. I had spoken to him several times and was starting to weigh my options. I didn't want to issue a "demerit" on day one, but was starting to feel like if I didn't do something soon the kids wouldn't take discipline in my classroom serious. When I was almost to the point of having to intervene, one of my other students spoke up and told the disruptive student to quiet down and show me some respect. When he started to interrupt me again several kids spoke up and asked him to stop. The positive peer pressure seemed to work well, and I was impressed that the kids were willing to deal with this themselves. Being that this was Health class I was especially happy to hear them tell him that they wanted to hear what I was saying... It was very cool and we made it to the end of class demerit free.
I love, love, loved being with the teenagers again, and it just confirmed that the Lord really did call us to work with this age group. I have to admit, for all my nerves last night and this morning, once I got into my classroom with them I felt like a duck taking to water. It was amazing... I just love the energy of this age group and feel so blessed to get to know this awesome group of young people. It is such a huge mix of kids too... Some of them are christians who are strong in their faith and a couple even have a call to ministry on their hearts. Some of them are Christians and have been since childhood but are just starting to explore what that means to them and just starting to claim their faith as their own. We even have some kids who will readily tell you they aren't saved and are not Christians. None of them seem hostile to the idea of being in a Christian school though, which is good. It is a similar mix to what we had in youth group and I can't wait to get to know each of them where they are and to get to be a small part of each of their story.
I seriously can't wait to get back there! It is going to be a great year!!!
Thanks for listening,