New Beginnings

Week 2 in our brand new school building is almost complete! What a rollercoaster! So many emotions over the last 14 days.

I’ve felt excitement. Finally – my very own classroom! A place to store school supplies! Running water! Real bathrooms! Two to three extra hours in my day since we don’t all have to run the bus route!

I’ve felt anticipation.  I get to start fresh with a brand new bunch of kiddos. Hoping to hone my lesson plans, activities, and discipline strategies throughout the year. I can’t wait to see what all we’re going to learn and experience together.

I’ve felt sadness. I don’t know if I should admit this, but I think I have a slight case of the “kindergarten blues”. I see my big guys and gals from last year walking down the sidewalk to their new first grade classroom, and I feel like I’ve lost a little part of my heart. They’re next door to me, yet it feels strange not to be involved in their lives on a daily level.

I’ve felt inadequacy. My personal standards for where I want to be as a teacher and where I actually am are not aligned. I know I sometimes put undue pressure on myself to be perfect, but there are so many areas in which I can improve. I desire to give these students who have been entrusted to me the best possible chance at success. I want them to be able to grow in their knowledge of the Lord and His love for them. I don’t want any of my shortcomings to get in the way of that.

I’ve felt anger. There have already been some intense experiences in the timeout corner. The other day, Carla gave me the best cussin’ session she could muster as I wrestled with her in the corner. Yudeison and Fernando and Daidon have each taken their turns screaming at the top of their lungs after I sent them to the corner. While there are moments I find it hard not to take it personally, I’ve felt myself getting getting angry because these little souls are rebelling against the holy God who created them.

I’ve felt pride. I love hearing Fabiola and Carla and Yeny belt out our very first sight word we’re learning. And today before leaving, I looked over at Daidon and saw his dark eyes locked on mine, waiting for me to call his name to get in line instead of running around the room.

I’ve felt guilt. I haven’t been spending much time with my babies or my husband or Yuleisy.

I’ve felt absolute exhaustion. The busy pace of life and the amount of energy it takes to keep up with 5-year-olds (and my own little men) is incredible. Doing this craziness on minimal sleep hasn’t helped exactly. My fuzzy brain feels like it’s running on empty, and patience has run thin.

I’ve felt encouragement. Our two short-term teams so far have done much to pour into my life already. Encouraging letters and emails, patience and cooperation in the classroom – how I love sharing life with others.

I’ve felt peace. In the middle of the daily struggles and the busy schedule and little annoyances, I’ve felt the Lord’s presence as another year begins. I want to learn to constantly take hold of the comfort that the Holy Spirit offers. It’s by His strength and grace that I’m able to take part in His awesome plan for these precious ones.

Here’s to another year!

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Practicing letter matching in centers

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Sonia and Miss Angela

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Time out

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Story time

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