This year, we have a new batch of Kindergarten students. They are bright-eyed and only naughty occasionally, when they sense their teachers are having a moment of weakness.
The other day, we went to an apple orchard. It was a cute, enchanted little farm with big trees overhanging the windy driveway up to the main yard. Once there, we went on a big wagon ride pulled by a John Deere tractor. The driver let us all out in the middle of the apple orchard, and the students each got to pick two apples. Everyone happily ate their apples on the way back to the farm.
Once at the farm, the kids got to enjoy apple cider and a small donut. Finally, we ended the trip by visiting the orchard's petting zoo. While we were walking to see the animals, it started to drizzle. Everyone was quite wet, but that did not stop the kids. They were so excited that they ran at the animals screaming. This in turn, caused the animals to run away. It was quite the zoo!
This week, I have a growing love for some of the students. At first, they all felt like strangers in our Kindergarten room. Now, they feel like family.
Even though I am not working at my "dream job," I am trying to see every day as a gift, and each interaction with the students as significant. I am more laid back than I was last year. I know how to find my zen in the midst of screaming, yelling, pulling on my arm students. I am more obvious with them too. "You are yelling, and it is stressing me out" I've had to say a couple of times to one particular student. She gets it and quickly adjusts her volume.
Today, a little boy came to show me his Math paper before putting it in his cubby.
I looked at his paper and said to him, "You need to circle something in this row of 8's."
He scrunched up his nose at me and responded, "You don't know everything."
It was precious; I laughed out loud.
He smiled. "Your silly," he said.
Everything is a game when you are 5. The quiet game, the smiling game, the getting in line fast game, the win a blue ticket game. Life is one big game, and the players could't be more excited even if the prize is a high five from your teacher.
Yes, my fondness is growing for these students. I want them to do well. I want them to succeed in life. I want to do my best to help them become their best. If I can play some role in where they are heading, who they are becoming, I will feel it matters. It is significant. I am significant.