Today was the first day of school for so many kids across the state of Texas. Last year, I was too busy trying to survive the trials of being a newborn mommy to realize that one day (very soon... too soon!!), Adelay will have her first day of school. I'll cook a special breakfast for her, dress her up as much as possible, make sure she has all of her supplies tucked away in her backpack, write her a note in her lunch, and send her off to a stranger. So it hit me today that as a teacher, I really do have quite THE job! I'm in charge of people's kids - their pride and joy, their little miracle, their special somebody. Those parents are trusting me to make their kid feel just as good in my classroom as they do at home. They're hoping that I don't see their little Jose pick his nose, and if I do, that I overlook it and still see him as a cool kid. They're wondering if I know little Lupita is shy and has trouble making friends, and if I do, how will I help her. They just want their kid to have a good experience and be successful, and I'm the adult in charge of that. I think that in previous years, I've always been sensitive to my students and have tried to create a positive learning environment, but this year, I feel especially empathetic towards the parents. They've created this little person who they love and take care of. They give this little person to me, the teacher, for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. I see their child awake longer than they do! I get it now. I get why moms cry and linger at the door (not for 3rd grade, thankfully, but the lower grades). I get the earnest look they give me as they leave. And I'm glad that I can reassure them that I will love their child and treat him or her right. I love it when I see that flash of relief cross their faces when they realize that I'm safe. I'm worthy to watch their child. Yeah, I have TAKS and TEKS to worry about, but I can't ever lose sight of the fact that I have somebody's somebody in front of me. So as I teach this year, I'm going to be asking myself more often, "Is that how I'd want Adelay's teacher to act?"
The first day went great. I really love my class so far. I had 22 on my roster, but only 17 came. I guess we'll see if the other 5 remember to come back to school! This group is very sweet, and I have a really good feeling about this year. As they were leaving, I heard a bunch of them say, "I like 3rd grade!" And that's what I want to hear.
I promise I'll post about Adelay next and include pictures. I know that she's the star of this blog! She's doing great, though. She's been back to her "old" self, and by that I mean bedtime is no longer a problem! Thank the Lord! She's going down, awake, with out crying. That's all I was asking for! Is that so hard? OK, maybe it is, but she's doing it again, so whew! If you're wondering, "How?" My response is "cry it out". When we were at my dad's, I felt awkward doing that. Plus, I don't trust the crib at his house. When we got back to our house, I was like, "See ya, kid!" during bedtime. I know she's fed, has a clean diaper, and is safe. She'd cry because she wanted to play, but it was time to sleep. So, even though it's hard, we let her cry it out. And it really did work for us. If she was still crying after 10 minutes, I'd lay her down, pat her back for a while, and leave. And after a few days, she got the hint. Again, I'm sooo glad she is sleeping "right" since school is back in session. It makes life a bit easier.