Sunday, September 27, 2009

Moving Forward

I had a great weekend and feel blessed to have the people around me that are here. I had a friend visit from home, had four friends visit from around the delta, and got to show my classroom to my roommates for the first time.

I had a great feeling walking around the football game on Friday. The roomies came with to see our school, students, and staff. It was a nice feeling to have a crew around me and my fellow TFA teachers. I felt proud of the students and the people at the game for being so welcoming and all the smiles that came our way. Isn't it a crazy thing...what we're doing here? Stepping out of our bubble world in college into a region that is labeled as "high need" and these people saying "yes, please come on in."

I took a half day on Friday and was actually kind of sad to miss my last three classes of the day because they are some of my favorite kids. I just feel like that is such a weird thing to say after a month and a half...but it's true.

Maybe I am feeling particularly lucky right now because of everything going on in Stuttgart (where I live). We had another Teach for America corp member quit from this town (the second in a month), and it has been a stressed situation. On the one hand there are the teachers who are still there every day working hard that feel slighted by this decision, but on the other hand is this poor girl who tried so hard and just doesn't think she can do it. That for me is an emotional rollercoaster. I can't imagine being in that position and feel a personal guilt for not making that situation fixed before it got to this point.

The environment you're in after and during work can really make or break someone. My situation has been blessed. My roomies are a perfect balance of hard work, fun, reflective, and motivating. Our house has such a strong balance of coming home getting your stuff done, then STOPPING because enough is enough, then taking out our energy on the weekends doing a variety of activities. This has made my experiences that are full of stress evaporate over time after a reflective conversation with one of them. Putting things into perspective has been one of the biggest things I have had to work on, and being around level-headed people has made that infinitely easier.

Beyond that, C (with all the craziness considered) is awesome. The kids are lovable...even with all of their problems in tact. They're genuine and interesting. My placement in high school originally was something I wasn't particularly happy with. Now I can not imagine being somewhere else. I love high schoolers, they are real people with real problems, but can quickly revert back to the children that every person wants to be. Their humor is out of control and their quick wit keeps me on my toes. Yet, their vulnerability in the classroom has been an amazing thing to witness too. I forgot what it was like to get yelled at on the court in basketball by a coach I adored. I forgot how crappy I felt afterward...and for the next few practices. I caught myself yelling last week and I saw a player crumble. Clearly done for the day, she wouldn't respond to any positive renforcement. These are things we all are learning together.

Sorry for the outburst, just in a nice mood tonight. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, I am so happy to have the network of friends and support I do have these days. It's an amazing thing what people can do for each other without even knowing it.

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