So, I’ve decided that’s my new motto for the last week before any holiday break! “Meltdowns, Movies and Munchies” Today there were some moments of joy but it kind of felt like a full day meltdown.
It’s just so hard to keep the schedule normal-which is what many of my students need-on the week before break. Now, I love all those Christmas parties. I love those Christmas themed Language Arts and Math lessons that you can find on TeachersPayTeachers (or all those ones that you used to create on your own in the olden days:). These changes in schedule and routines, however, wreak havoc on my students who thrive on structure. I’m sure I’ll get to teach a lot of flexibility lessons this week. I usually plan calm activities in my room so that if students need a break from all the concerts and cookie baking and ornament making, they can come have some down time in my room. Today we joked and said “let’s just watch movies and eat popcorn all week!” So, there came my motto: Meltdowns, Movies and Munchies (and maybe the teachers will even let the kids come join us!:)
But, let’s get back to that moment of joy! I am so thankful for the teaching assistants that work with me. Today, as I watched one of them, I realized that many days, my joy comes from seeing her interact with the students. She knows how to push them to be the very best they can be, but she is also flexible and patient and knows when to just stop and laugh about the situation. Today, I was mentally exhausted at 1:00, and yet when I watched her interact with students, she was able to smile and keep listening and encouraging them. It didn’t matter that she hadn’t finished her Christmas shopping or that she had a million things going on at home, she left all that at home and engaged with her students in the moment.
So, my prayer for this week is that I can portray peace in moments of chaos, and that I can purposefully engage with my students in the moment. Then, maybe I won’t need as many movies or munchies to calm those meltdowns:).
Did you find one today? Did you find a joyful moment? One of mine was getting to sleep in!! We had a delay because of the ice. Definitely thankful for some extra sleep:) Of course, it was a Monday AND we had a delay, so that caused some of my autistic students to have a hard time getting settled. Although I was definitely exhausted by the end of the day, I could also see God’s hand at work. In the middle of those meltdowns, one of the students asked for help in a way that we’d practiced over and over! Yay for first times! Another student excitedly shared how he had practiced and practiced a concept until he got it. The smile on his face was contagious. (The best part was that he did it last night-a weekend, no less!!)
The beginning of my day didn’t start well, but a Christian friend who “happens” to be subbing in our building reminded me that “love is a choice” and that maybe we just need to move on from the hard situation. Hmmmm….funny that one of my coworkers, who is NOT a believer had basically said that same thing last week about another situation. Maybe God is trying to tell me something:). Grateful for reminders that I’m not just here to teach but to share God’s love with those around me. Where did you find your joyful moment?
So I had great intentions of posting that Moment of Joy yesterday, but forgot about all the paperwork that I left unfinished over break so the day got away from me. But, even though it’s not Monday, I still wanted to look for that moment. I was a bit worried about the Monday after break. I was tired. I didn’t sleep well Sunday night. I worried about all those student needs. I worried about their transition back, and I assumed they wouldn’t be ready to be back. However, they did an awesome job transitioning back and made me smile often throughout the day.
I had more fun teaching yesterday than I have in a long time. Yes, I felt like I had a million things on my mind and was overwhelmed by all the non-teaching tasks that I have to accomplish, but then I stopped for a few minutes and just enjoyed my students and my coworkers. I got to experience the students’ own joy in learning new things. Thanks, God, for that rekindling of my joy over the break.