I don’t even know how to describe this evening. One word? Perspective? Awakening?
Or maybe just an acknowledgement that I will do my best, but the task in front of me will be amazingly challenging.
My designation is now “Special Teacher.” I have met the family and the children. I am contacting my coordinator to let her know that if the paperwork comes through for their cousin, I will add her to my schedule. I know. What am I thinking, right? Well, my thinking is this: quite simply, they are an extended family and I may be able to reach the shy girl through the more precocious younger girl. But more than that, they are all family. If I am going to create a connection, then I will be the special teacher for the family’s children.
This means that three classes will be a challenge for me this spring, but I will have to be smart about how I do things. Timing for the family will be difficult due to the father’s schedule on Saturdays. That would have been my best bet for doing one session after another, but that’s not what is best for the family… so I will need to go up there one weekday evening and later on Saturday afternoon.
Things will change with Todd’s new job, presuming that he gets it.
So I will hope, because it would make it much easier for me to do this for the family with his new schedule.
As for the family? Beautiful, welcoming, and an interesting combination of shy and friendly. My two assigned children are very reserved but they just met me. I suspect it will be a tough time to reach them for the first sessions… and it could be difficult for me to make much difference in the first weeks. I have to make progress or I am not succeeding as a teacher, but I’m wondering how I will find the balance between creating a sense of comfort with them and being able to make progression.
I’m going to contact the ESL/ELL department at the university where I (presently) work and then will see if they can give me good advice for making those initial connections.
What I didn’t expect and this one is tough for me to write…. what I didn’t expect was the sense I came away with of how very, very much my family and I have. We have decent jobs. We have so much space it now seems almost obscene.
At the same time, I also saw how much we are the same: we are all close to our families. We love our children and shake our heads over them. We go through the same issues of worrying about how we will support our children and how we will make things better for them.
I’d say I’m intimidated about what is ahead of me, but I’m not. My brain is working away, trying to figure out what I need to bring with me to make it fun for them.
I’ve never done anything like this before, so this is all new territory for me. I get approximately 24 hours with them. It sounds like a lot until you think about how much they really need. Can I do it?
I know I need to settle down and get ready for bed. I need to read to the boys and cuddle them. Ahh… that was a source of much congratulations to me this evening – my two sons.
And I absolutely fell in love with the grampa. Seriously. I know I could never do his spirit justice in words. I’m just NOT that good at writing.
That’s all I have for tonight. I promise to write more. I’m still trying to process it. And Heather? The volunteer…. Her generosity and warmth are amazing. What she does for the people in her complex…
She needs a male volunteer to work with the father of the two children I’ll be working with. I know the perfect person and it saddens me because he doesn’t live here.
I need to go read now.
Have a good night. I’m counting my blessings.