Monday, October 31, 2011


I wrote notes home to five parents today
I told 'em that their kids had done an excellent job
They're the kids that at the beginning of the year I wondered how in the world I would ever get to
Sit, pay attention, and obey
Let alone
Speak & Listen.  Read & English.
But today I was listening to these kids
I sat back and tutored
While the other munchkins played with a train.
"Don't forget to say 'Chugga-Chugga-Chugga-Chugga-Choo-Choo"
(We learned about the "Ch" sound today)
And they Chugga-Chuggad
"Hugo, what time is it?"
"2:49.  Thanks Hugo.  It's time to clean up."
"Thiago, what's your mom's name?"
"I wrote a note to your mom to tell her that you did a good job.  Make sure to show her when you get home, ok?"
"Yes, Teacher Emily", his face beamed.
Every year, in the beginning,
I wonder how I will ever be successful with any given group.
I wonder if this teaching thing is really for me.
Talk to me about two months in, and I'm probably playing around with the idea of switching careers.
But the end.
The end is when I can see its worth.
All those hours of painstakingly taking the students through the rules, the procedures, the basics.
All those hours of laying a foundation,
Forming a classroom environment that leads to growth.
And then one day, at the end of the second semester, I look at them
And I realize how far they've come.
How they've changed.
Oh yeah, their English has developed.
But it's not just that.
They've developed as people.
I smile when I think of them,
I can't help but praying for them to become passionate followers of Jesus Christ
Because I love them.
And the truth is that I've changed because of them.
The difficulty I had in the beginning of the year
Was because these kids were little hoodlums.
But it was also because my actions weren't affected by the pull of love.
As we spent time listening and understanding each other,
We all changed.
We have been molded by each other.
And I thank my students for that.

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