That’s what I keep thinking to myself. The pain that I get in my stomach every time I go into the dining hall, the lack of sleep, the weird water, and everything that comes with these things, are all worth it if my teaching means that even one of my students gets to move on to 4th grade in the fall. One of my students told me today that her brother is going to be starting 3rd grade in September, and she’s scared that he’s going to be in the same grade as her and then pass her by. These kids are almost the perfect age for me, in terms of teaching. Would I like it if they were a little younger? Yes, but I think as a starting point it’s pretty good. They have very real adult emotions, but they’re still completely trusting (for the most part).
Some of the things that I’ve been thinking about as I try to wrap my head around the fact that very little makes sense or works quite properly here are things that my kids have done or said. On the first day, we gave our students a survey, and one of the questions was “What is your perfect teacher?” One of the students responded “My summer teachers,” despite having barely known us for an hour. This same young man, after a lesson with me, told me that his mother was bringing his baby brother with her to pick him up from school, and that he would let me hold the baby! Every day, at least one of the kids does something that almost makes me cry, in a good way. They are completely adorable. And so last night, as I worked through the night to complete the many things that I needed to have in the classroom with me this morning, I just kept thinking “It’s for the children… it’s for the children…”