I have officially and successfully completed my first week of teaching my own class! Although I have been working in schools on and off for 12 years now, this is the first time I have had (or wanted) the responsibility of being the lead teacher.
I have to admit, I think that being a rookie they are putting me through "initiation" in the sense that they chose all the kids with the biggest behavioral issues,grades 1-6, and intrusted them in my care. My supervisor and various other staff have popped their head in off and on, I believe to make sure I am still alive.I have to say the week went amazingly well, especially considering the age range and the different levels of ability of the students in my class.
There were lots of highlights this week, but my favorite moment of the week (its up there in the top five favorite moments of my life) was when one of the students, one of the very special students who has challenged me and stretched me beyond belief (I have worked with him in the past), told me in not so many words that he loved me. He called my name, and I walked over to him, and he wrapped his arms around me and said "love." And I cried a little. If the action and the word were not used together, I would have doubted he knew the meaning of what he was saying, as feelings and emotions are a hard concept for autistic kids to grasp. But I felt so loved in that moment, so I believe he meant it.
Also, as always, there have been funny moments. One student, who I have never worked with before, likes to bring "surprises" in her backpack. So far she has brought popsicles (melted and leaking), various items of clothing that obviously do not belong to her, two cameras, and a flashlight (one of those huge ones that security officers use). Hmmmmm...I wonder what I will find next week. I am half afraid that I will open it up and something will jump out at me. Honestly, I think it could happen.
So, my week went well, and my supervisor will be relieved to know I am still alive.
When I am not at the school, the rest of my time has been devoted to working with the summer interns at Youth for Christ. I now have the official title of "Summer Intern Director". I have 7 awesome interns who are running 4 awesome programs. I'll be posting more info about that soon. I think it will be a great summer of great ministry.
Tomorrow I will be taking some of the Jefferson kids to volunteer with Hope Rises to prepare some water purification devices called "WaPIs" The WaPIs will be going to communities in Swaziland where my Jefferson students have penpals. Pretty cool connections. I am praying that the kids will become locally and internationally aware and involved.
So, my summer has had a good strong start, which will hopefully carry through! Until next time!