Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Quiet Thursday Night

This week began with high temperatures but by midweek, we started to sense the coming of fall. This morning, I needed a coat for the drive to school and tonight, the full moon has begun to wane.

Mike has been home this week....misses me, I guess. He started in on a new project. Also, our home became a gathering place as friends dropped by and sat a spell on the porch. As I want to catch up and get ahead with school work, I talked the hub into riding up to the lake this afternoon. Caught up, I"ll be able to leave right after school.

I get this question all the time: How's school going?

It's going great for me. Without thinking, I'd say that as an experienced teacher, I'd give myself all sorts of credit. Ah, but thank you Lord. You're whispering in my ear.

Honestly, although I love what I do, I really enjoyed just not doing much of anything this summer. I like spending all that time with Mike and likewise spending almost no time on anything much else. But he wanted me to return to school and I know that we are blessed as we follow God's lead. So back to school I went.

I was anticipating some new problems: I have two classes of freshmen. I haven't taught 15-year-olds for 10 years. As the youngest in the building, they can be hyper and loud and emotional and disorganized and tearful when disorganized. Also, there's not much mental challenge to preparing lessons and executing the same. I wasn't too thrilled with my change of assignment.

But, God's gift is that these youngsters sit in my room during the first two periods of the day. They are still just waking up. There are no disruptions. And, you know, they are charming in their newness. Each and every tidbit from their teacher is a golden coin to them.

I was also apprehensive about the other end of my day: two sections of most challenging students. Non-academic juniors. These classes are for a wide range of students....some are poor readers; some are locked into vocational courses and THIS is the class that fits their schedule; some are those kids that, a generation ago, would have dropped out by now. Several of mine are in school under court order or threat.

Even those of us with some management skills find the mix volatile. In any classroom, a teacher can handle up to three really disruptive students. But any more is too much. They feed off each other and it's difficult to keep lessons flowing. AND I have these classes during the last two hours of the day, when this teacher is tired and THEY are getting wound up.

So, I anticipated these classes would be problematic, as they always are. Also, because our school had to reduce the teacher force, we were expecting huge classes.

I was surprised that my classes are small....14 and 17 enrolled students. I figured that the computer programs would balance my classes as this is what happens every year. By the end of the third week, when the class lists were still this small, I then figured that everybody's classes were small. When I checked, I found out that, no, other teachers were working with much larger classes.

Huh. Lucky me?

Come on! THIS is the Father's gift. He's not setting me up for a stress out.

And here's another plus: with these supposed problem students in small classes.....teachers crave small classes....some of our challenging students are getting special attention and in several cases, they are blooming into really great members of the class. Some of those really problematic kids really cry out to be noticed.

So, my school year is going great. God whispers to me often in ways that I can do a good job and work for my students without overworking myself into a frenzy. So far, I'm able to drive north soon after that final bell sounds on Friday.

And then, there's the love. As their teacher, most students find me a bit of a dictator, that woman who makes them do a lot more than they would choose to do. They learn to behave and they learn their lessons and by the end of the semester, we're all ready to say, "Goodbye" to each other.

As one scholar said last spring, "It's been a looooooong semester."

But, once we don't see each other every day, many of those kids morph into my biggest fans. At least once a day, some big senior guy walks past me and says, "I miss you, Mrs. B." or "Can I get back in your class?" or "I love you, Mrs. B."

I don't know how much love is too much. So, far, it's all good.

So here in central Indiana, as the cool breeze rustles those first fall leaves across the lawn, it's time to tuck in for the night.

Looking forward to a great weekend.


  1. Smiling ear to ear and thanking God for His grace! Have a wonderful weekend at the lake with Mike, sweet sister!

  2. What a delight to see the hand of God in each and every blessings - especially those that surprise us so! love you, janis