Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Grumpy but Grateful

A year ago today, it was four weeks after the earthquake. I wrote this, reflecting on how I had changed. Of course, it was a little early to say that.

Today, I thought about those days a year ago, when I was so desperately missing my job and my students and my classroom. Today I yelled at my eighth graders (not just raising my voice to be heard above them, but yelling, which I do about once a semester and hate myself for immediately afterward). The other day I commented to my seventh graders that it seemed they were having a hard time listening, and one of them said, "We're behaving better than we usually do." Another one added, "Yeah, you're just in a bad mood."

I took a moment, while I was on lunch duty and policing the playground, to be thankful for meaningful work, for papers to grade, for reading and writing. (This time last year I could hardly read a book.) I also thanked God for my students, for who they are (noisy, maddening, lovable), and for who they are becoming. I wish I could say I won't ever yell at them again, or ever be in a bad mood again, but I know that's not realistic. The earthquake didn't turn me into a flawless teacher or a flawless human being. But I can promise that I will always be grateful; I will always remember, if not every moment, at least every day, to thank God for my life, for my work, and for the young people in my temporary care.


Matsu said...

Thank you for sharing your highs and lows, your good days and your not-so-good days.

Gratefulness... that is an important lesson for ALL of us to learn.

Sarah SSM said...

Thank you, indeed. I need that reminder. I hope I can retain the sense of gratitude for the grace that I have been shown in so many different ways. So easy to forget. I need to remember - and I will need to do so even more, I suspect, once I get back to Haiti this fall. Blessings on your teaching, your students, and you, yourself.