plum magic

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 13 2011

Is it me you’re looking for?

It’s been a while. Here’s a short list  of some of the things that happened during my first year in the classroom.

I feel in love with a 4th grader that never learned to read.
I made lots and lots and lots of copies.
I cried.
I re-learned how to play hand slap games and sing multiplication songs.
I sweated. A lot. Enough said.
I had three lock downs.
I had one student be expelled.
I watched as students and teachers alike came and left and came and left.
I saw how thoughtful young children can be.
I saw ten year-olds devour books like they hadn’t eaten in years.
I watched as students screamed, kicked, cursed and cried.
I rubbed twenty-nine backs every, single day.
I saw students brutally fight each other. With words and fists.
I met a nine year old in the 1st grade.
I had “the talk” with my girls.
I was gifted a robot made of a shoebox, salad tongs and mini disco balls.
I sang. A lot.
I learned new words straight from the source’s mouth.
I honed my one-liner skills.
I saw kids wet their pants.
I heard a first grader pooped in the water fountain.
I grew bean plants with my students.
I laughed. More than a lot.
I was tired.
I was part of a strange, huge family.
I discovered sad and upsetting things about my students’ lives.
I held hands.
I told my students my first name.
I wiped away tears and cleaned scrapes.
I gave advice.
I took advice.
I read children’s books that I hadn’t in years.
I thought about saying “shut up” a lot. I didn’t.
I graded papers. And tests. And homework. And classwork.
I sharpened thousands of pencils.
I found my purpose.
I tried to put myself in others’ shoes.
I braided hair.
I had my hair braided.
I went on field trips.
I was called, lovingly and not, “Mom”, “Grandma”, “Boo-Boo”, and “Stupid ass, dumb ass teacher”.
I celebrated birthdays.
I ate french bread pizza from the cafeteria.

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