Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The standing still!

I haven't been wandering much and feeling a bit anchored to my home here in Michigan. The good news is...I am meeting new people and encountering new experiences almost every day. And I am defying what I know and you all know about me in so many ways.

For example: after my workout and during lunch with Richard, I received a call regarding a need for a substitute at the Learning Center. This is a place for special needs kids and they needed someone fast for this 30 minutes from the time of the call which I could not do because I needed a shower, to dress and drive 30 minutes. NO sweat...they called back and asked me to come even if I would be a tad late which I did. The class...pre-school special needs kids. Only 8 in the classroom but all with special needs and issues. The good news...there were never less than 3 adults in the room with these kids and being a mom and grandma sure helped although I just don't know the rules which the kids were happy to share with me.

We played Candyland but I changed the rules because we wanted to practice taking turns, counting and our colors. It went well but one young man allowed as how the real Candyland game is much more fun than MY version. He is four!

I am not a patient woman. I have been in several classrooms where I have had to draw upon a reservoir of unused and untapped patience and I am enjoying these classes tremendously. One leaves feeling one has taught something necessary and needed. Today, I had a little guy who wanted to snuggle and hold my hand through the afternoon...he doesn't get many hugs where he lives, I was told.

On the way back home, I was thinking back to my public school teaching years in Virginia and remembered that, in those days, I taught basic, average and gifted middle school students. High school courses were organized like they are today. After my first semester with average kids, I demanded to ONLY teach basic (read that remedial) or gifted classes. Average was so...average. I loved working with those who had learning issues....they felt so successful and so did I when something was accepted and learned.

Now, I don't want to be smarmy. I could NOT do this on a daily basis and these teachers are way underpaid and under-appreciated. What they do, day in and out, is heroic. Yes, some are better than others but I haven't met anyone yet who isn't trying...against many obstacles.

I laughed and smiled a lot today and yes, I did wander the room. I worked at Candyland; at the play-doh table makin pretend cookies; at the vehicle box, counting the number of blue and red planes and then, helping to sort and count the big and small planes. Oh, and I helped my snuggler eat a baby carrot all by himself...he doesn't like crunching!

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