Thursday, May 9, 2013

Loving God's Children in the Tough Times

Isn't it funny how we learn to deal with our less than perfect moments? You may not realize it, but as an adults, whatever age you are as you read this, you've come a long way. Do you remember what life was like in middle school? Awkward phases, hormones making you out of control, braces, the opposite gender? It's no wonder that people say it takes a 'special person' to teach this age. It does, and I find that most of my colleagues had some major memorable experience during middle school  (good or bad) that lead them to love on these kids like none other.

Is it easy? No way! But is it fun? Every day :)

I write this post as I watch my students struggle through their final standardized test of the school year. We started together in late August and by September they already took their first of three tests called MAP. My district is using the data to determine growth, but also to see how our curriculum is functioning. Is it fair to the kids? Not at all. Who wants to waste two days on reading and math tests? But does it show us a lot? It truly does. I have no idea how they are doing on this test (at least not until I walk around gathering their final scores in a few minutes) but I already see improvements. I see the student who had a panic attack during our first one, now confident and working hard. I see my non-reader, analyzing and absorbing the words on her screen. I see my learning support students trying their best. Sometimes the improvement is seen in the scores, and other times it is the small life lessons that they've discovered.

So how do I get through this marathon season with the students? Now that they want to give up, give in, play outside, be anywhere but here? I pray for them. I laugh with them. I bribe them (ha, actually they do have a few special deals with me). And I just try to love on them the best that I can, on my good days and my own grumpy days.
Fun Friday Reward of the Week - Picnic Lunch!

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