Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Can You Feel the Love?
There they are, my little cherubs and their teachers, last fall. We all lined up on the hill for one big school photo (Thank you Katie!!) while they all had their "Character Counts" colors on.
I know the names of every single person in this picture. I'm fairly confident that I could tell you something personal about each person too (although I might struggle with the kindergartners because I haven't known them as long).
Doesn't everyone look happy? Aren't they all cute? Isn't the sky blue? Everything is perfect.
But really, everything is not. Some of them have deployed parents. Some have ill family members. Some are grieving the loss of a pet. Some are in a fight with their best friend. Some are grounded. Some just found out their parents are getting divorced. Some cannot focus. Some cannot read. Some just sent their older siblings off to college. Some have nobody at home until way after supper. Some are happy, and some are sad.
I remember writing a post last spring-- when I was so frustrated at school and really feeling like I was at a low point at work. Sometimes, when you work with kids for years on certain things without seeing much progress, it leaves you feeling like you haven't done a single thing to help. And being a "helping professional", this is hard to swallow. I kept thinking, "Those poor tax payers (myself included) are not getting their money's worth by paying my salary."
But then, I'm tossed a few little gems. Like today, when I sat with a student who didn't handle his anger very well, and discussed possible alternative behavior in the future. (Yes, we've had this discussion before and we probably will again.) And though he knew he and the principal would soon figure out a consequence, he smiled at me when I told him I was excited to see him in Guidance class-- that I always look forward to seeing his face when I head to his classroom--because his smile is contagious. I asked him for a high five-- he slapped my hand-- and then (here's the gem), he held on to my hand and gave it a little squeeze. My heart ooozed a little as he left my room.
Or another little guy who sometimes could be classified as "difficult to love" has twice made a point to say, "Good Morning Mrs. Spahn" when I greet him in the hallway. THIS is huge. Another heart ooze.
Or my little gal, who has been going through some separation anxiety lately, but had no tears this morning. When she saw me at recess, she ran up to me, threw her arms around me and said, "I didn't even cry this morning!!" (yay!!)
Mornings like today remind me why I chose this profession.
(And not to be picky, but I just wish I had way more of these days to look forward to.)