Raindrops on Roses

Today was wonderful. I don't know what happened when I was out, but something miraculous changed the whole demeanor of my class, and today was heaven-sent. I didn't raise my voice once. I talked practically in a whisper, and if someone couldn't hear me, my students asked the others to "please listen, Ms. G is talking". They followed the hand signal, the rules, and they were respectful to me. Jerry told me that he missed me, Tay hugged me and said "welcome back", and Tyler wrote me a note over the weekend from the Bad Wolves to let me know that they were happy I was coming back. My teacher face worked today, in the same way I remember it working when my teachers used to use it on me. Bad Wolves worked together today, and tried to use all the language of a 'team' that I have been drilling them with all year.

Apparantly Thur and Fri were hell. I can only immagine. Ms. Baker (aide) is one to downplay incidents to me, so when she told me that Friday was a madhouse, I knew she wasn't kidding. The interesting thing is that even Ms. Baker, as much as she complained about how awful it was on Thur and Fri, admitted to me that it was probably one of the best things to happen to the classroom because it gave her the perspective of what I am up against. She told me that she undertsnads now how hard it is to move on with a lesson when the other aide is in the back doing he rown thing, and then today she came out from behind the table she usually stays at and helped with a shared reading group that we had formed.

Last week was a strange week for us... it looked like this:
Mon- full day
Tues- Half day
Wed- No School
Thur- No Ms. G (substitute and aides in the classroom)
Fri- No Ms. G (no substitute available, aides only (aka: extremely illegal) Weeks that are different always affect my students, but this time it was more than the average change because then I wasn't there for 2 days.

The other major issue that was affecting the level of respect that was exhibited today revolved around events that occurred in the area around our school on Sunday. If you look in the Newark Star Ledger, you can read that there were 3 drive-by shootings yesterday within 4 blocks of the school. These incidents left a 14 year-old dead, and 2 young boys in the ICU. The boys were shot literally outside the school.

My kids cling to the poeple they love when they fear it might be taken from them, and as much as my students don't recognize this as a direct correlation to the shootings, I really believe that it makes all the difference in the world to have people there that are looking out for you.

In the past my kids get pissed when I miss school, and then treat me awful for a few days until I can get tem back into the swing of things, but this time, they embraced my return. I got hugs, I was respected, and generally i think that my students learned a lot today-- which means that by the time they went home they were able to make a difference in their own lives.

I didn't yell once. I was excited and energetic. I felt respect.

Can i say again that today was a good day?

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