Saturday, August 16, 2008

Reflections from my First Week of Teaching 5th grade

Well, what can I say? I made it through the first week. When Monday evening closed, I went to bed in tears. I really thought that I had made the most horrible mistake. Our school assigns students to math and language arts by ability grouping. Out of my four classes, I have three lower groups. Some of the behaviors in those classes were horrid. One of the teachers on the hall told me to get tough and gave me some pointers on *encouraging* children to change their behavior. I followed through with her suggests.

On Wednesday, I took away recess for an entire class. Of course, that punished me because I had to stay with them during recess. But, guess what? Thursday and Friday that class was my best behaved classroom! They realized that I meant business and would follow through.

Driving to work on Wednesday morning, I prayed for my students. I prayed that God would show me how to reach them and how to love them. I prayed for my ability and strength. I prayed specifically for a few students. They were the ones who had given me problems. Those were the names that I remembered.

God is gracious. I saw improvement in those students this week. Yet, more importantly, I see where God has put a desire in my heart to love these children. I want them to succeed. I want them to learn to make wise choices. There is so much more to teaching than book knowledge.

My heartbreak of the week has a name. Kennedy. This little girl is precious and has a serious illness. Please visit her web page at:

Kennedy

Thursday, we had a meeting with her mom. I fought to hold back my tears as mom was sharing about her daughter’s daily struggles and this child’s faith. Mom shared a section of a poem her daughter has written. Kennedy said she knew her body was a mess but she was ready to get a new one in heaven. Mom was crying. Please visit her website. If the Lord places this child on your heart, donate to help pay for her much needed surgery.

Unfortunately, I am ill! I have a horrible sore throat, cough, runny nose, and severe headache. I honestly thought that I would not get sick this quickly. Last year, I stayed sick student teaching first graders, but I thought that I would not catch illnesses from fifth graders. Wrong. Mark is determined that I am sick because I have worked 10 to 12 hour days all week. I don’t know how to accomplish all that is required of me in less time. Please pray that I can begin to get breathing room. I have no life other than school. I thought that once I completed my degree that I could enjoy my family, again. Paul is growing up so fast. I do not want to miss it.

That is my week in review. Continue to pray for me and my students. Continue to pray for my family (Mark, Michael and Paul), the ones that I can see and hold and the two (Christi and Bobby) that I cannot.

Blessings,
Debbie

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your week improved!

Will say prayers for Kennedy, what a beautiful little girl. Will send in a donation too!

I think that you are going to be an angel for her.

Joy said...

What a week! We will be praying for you and all your family!

I am on my way to go see Kennedy's web page!

Luv ya!

Leah-Joy.;)

Elaine said...

I'm glad your week improved. Will pray for you and your family and the kids you teach.

marky said...

praying for a great school year ahead!

Wendy aka "Grits" said...

I'm sure your year will continue to improve, and you will do great!

Deborah said...

You will be in my morning prayers - 7:30 to 8:00 - I will pray for your strength, wisdom, and health. I will pray for Kennedy, also.

You always wanted to be a missionary. Now you are one. You are in the land of plenty, where children are ignored, families are splintered, morals are decaying, and we are all walking around calling ourselves good people. In my opinion, you have the toughest job in the world: teaching with compassion.

I love you dearly,
Deborah