After my first week at my new school, I realized it was going to be nothing like all my other teacher friends had been trying to prepare me for.
I wasn’t sure what I anticipated, but after the first week, I realized that it didn’t matter. I quickly came to realize that my expectations, positive or negative, were never on the right path. One of the biggest things that I did not expect, but was pleased to see, was that the school served breakfast and lunch. Now, I have experienced Apple schools before, but this was different. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that for some kids, the only time they ate was at school.
Let me tell you something, those kids were the most self-less individuals I have ever encountered. Any one of them would give you the shirt off their back in a heartbeat. More often than not, there was hardly enough food provided to give each student ‘enough’, and yes, I mean by Canada Food Guide expectations. And it didn’t matter if these kids were still hungry, if someone else asked for more and there wasn’t any, they still shared. They would give up their favorite part of the meal to someone who asked for more.
They didn’t have much awareness of manners, if I stopped and waited with that face…You know it…That teacher-face that says “I’ll wait… For the please or thank you”…They didn’t know what that face meant. It took a lot of explaining. Don’t get me wrong, these kids weren’t being rude! No, no, no…They just didn’t know!
They taught me as well. I learned manners in their language. And, months later, I still am working on it every day. I wait for it to become natural, but it is always a conscious effort.
Putting the children aside (figuratively), I had no clue what I was doing. I had no idea where the previous teacher had left off with her curriculum, and my wonderful $40 000 piece of paper had really taught me nothing about what I should be doing. I was lost, confused, and felt the frustration rising.
I had been spending lots of time with D again, now that we had ‘reconciled’, and although he was supportive of my field, he was full of “I told you so’s” and with every great idea he gave me, there was a negative ‘why bother’ aspect to it as well. I wasn’t sure where to go for help in the situation I was in.
And then I made a friend….