Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Simple Joys
Five days on the job as a substitute and I have been hired on as a regular in the room I have been working in. Because the teacher raved about me. That makes me feel good. This will keep my bills paid through the summer when hopefully I will get my full time real teacher job.

Today I saw simple things through the eyes of two four year old boys. First we were making flowers out of paper plates and painting them. A little boy was having trouble first tracing and then cutting. So I sat there and helped him. With every snip he would look to me for encouragement and I would tell him good job and then help him with the next step. It took at least ten times longer than if I had just done it for him, but I knew it was important for him to do it himself. And the look on his face when he saw his paper plate turned flower was worth it.

Later, I was watching the last few kids before their parents came to pick them up. I was in another classroom where the teacher was still cleaning and a little short tempered when the little boys had dirtied the floor with their muddy shoes and messed up the table with blocks. I focused on keeping one boy busy and out of the way. I didn't want to get other things out so I sat there and talked to him. I asked him what his favorite ice cream was (chocolate with a picture of Spider Man on it. Don't know quite how that works), what his favorite pizza is (meatball and cheese), and what was the best thing he ever got for his birthday (a lawnmower with a mouth that looks like it eats grass). We talked about his family and his house and his dog. When I sat there listening to him I thought about how important it was for him to get one on one talk time. I don't know how often that happens. But at least he got some today.

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