Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hugs from a hostile four-year old.

Today I had an amazingly rewarding moment. I am taking it as a pep talk from God conveyed through the mouth of a pre-k girl.

Last week was so hard. First of all, 8 hours is a long time for a four year old. Much less 19 of them in one space. Compound that with first time away from home jitters, nervous parents, regulations of the 4 different umbrellas that are over a public school program, new year paperwork, etc. Not to mention my 2 Grad classes that I am taking (in Conway) in my "spare" time.

In particular, I had one little girl who was my screamer and sulker. She would cry endlessly, then find a corner to plant herself in with her arms crossed and a look that said she didn't like school, want to be there, and wasn't interested in my songs, stories, or overall silliness.

But as the week went on, we made progress. She began walking down the hall by herself. She would sit in circle time. She let go of my leg on the playground. Eventually she smiled. Then I caught her on in my lesson singing and moving ever so slightly. Woah. Major breakthrough.

Today I met her walking with mom down the hall, and we got caught up in general conversation about how she was doing. Then she hit me with it. Last night, my little girl who had been so slow to warm up had asked to call her teacher. Because she loved her.

I really do love teaching pre-k, and one of the reasons is because they are so honest. What the feel and think is what you get. The rewards (and sometimes criticism) comes openly on a daily basis. But I know that today I received a gift, because even this early in the year, I can feel that at least for that one girl (and the mom who was just as scared to leave her) something worked. And really that's the best you can ask for at this crazy time of year.