I am more of a therapist than an English teacher on Mondays. When I get to school on Monday mornings, I need to get on the planet with the kids that I am going to be teaching. My planet and their planet is so many worlds apart that I need to mesh these two worlds a little.
So Monday morning rolls around, and the kids drag themselves and their backpacks into my English classroom. I am dragging a little also, but at least I've had the teacher's meeting AND coffee to get me going a little.
So, we start with prayer. I pray for them. I pray for each student, by name. It isn't hard because there are only five of them, but still.. it makes them feel special.
And then we start "talk time". Talk time is just when each one of the kids has a chance to talk and tell the rest of us what they did this weekend or what is going on in their lives or anything significant to them. In reality, the other students aren't supposed to interrupt or criticize, but we're still working on that..
I will admit that the first couple of weeks of "talk time", it was slow going. Nobody wanted to talk, and I was met with statements like, "What do you care?!" and "that's none of your business".. ugh. Slow starting!
But now.. they are all tripping over themselves to go first. They tell their stories with great excitement and animation. Some get up and walk the room and do wild gestures while they are describing the epic events of the weekend. And I laugh with them. Or look sad when they describe something sad.
And I just smile the way a mother hen smiles at her chicks when they are finally starting to jump around in the nest. Progress toward emotional wholeness for some who are troubled.. confused..indifferent-- you know-- all the things kids struggle with.
And when Tuesday rolls around, we actually "do school" with a surprising amount of clarity and focus. Yes, I am talking about junior high. Clarity and focus and junior high do not normally fit into the same sentence.
And I love those kids. The Lord gave me five children of my own--whom I love dearly--nothing could take the place of them. But the Lord has given me nine little kidlets to love on for this year. (5 jr. high and 4 highschool) The Lord is good, isn't he?