Monday, June 6, 2011

Classroom CJH 2010/2011

At the end of the day, I had finished my 3rd year working at CJH. I was blessed with the opportunity to work full time in a class room full of God's angels in this 3rd year. I fell in love with all the children at this school immediately when I began in the fall of 2008. I never could have guessed the blessings God would send me when I started this journey..

I needed to find a job that would help with some of our finances. I had to be able to work short hours and be able to work only when my health would let me. I knew a few people who had been substituting. I was torn as being a teacher had never crossed my mind. I had worked in a day care during high school. I also had 3 children of my own. I loved my kids, but others got on my last good nerve very easily. After giving it some thought, I decided to try it. After all, I could always quit. That last sentence makes me laugh now.

My first year I worked at several schools, and was trying to figure it all out. I got a call from CJH. And here is what I figured out. I love the babies; Pre School and Kindergarten and even 1 st and 2 nd grade, These children love you. And then you have the "Zombies", which translates to High School Students. Of course they aren't all bad, but you never know from one minute to the other what is going to happen. Hello...I am the teacher, you can't just get up and leave. Sorry...And then we have the JR High gang. The majority of these kids are good and they are transitioning now from that little boy or girl into young ladies and gentlemen...You know that Transition Juice that is made up of Hormones and surge through the body causing them to malfunction. So you have the little ones that love, love, love you and have an attention span of about 2 1/2 minutes. You have the High School kids that don't need you because they already know everything. I prefer the middle kids. These have to be my favorite age. Well, people have called me crazy before. They also worry that I have lost my mind. I don't want to burst the bubble, but I am not sure I have ever had one to lose.

My granddaughter Anna, was in the 7th grade at CJH when I started. It was nice to spend time with her and meet her friends. I became known as either Ms. Mathes or Grandma. These young kids are still trying to make up their minds on the things they've learned.. Still waiting on waking up and KNOWing everything. And lastly, Administration at CJH has made me feel Golden. They treat me like I am doing them a huge favor and I am trying to figure out if they would let me work even if they don't pay me.

In the first two years I worked here, I got to experience all classes and students. From the Extremely Handicapped and Autistic children to the Students with Top Honors and those slightly out of tuned ones that land in ISD on a regular basis. I love them all. This past year I spent all my days in the extremely handicapped classroom. This didn't stop me from loving all my students. Every chance I got, I was out mingling with my other kids. I know that the students think I am pretty crazy, but they are good natured about it. And while they still have trouble showing respect 100 percent of time, I think they do respect me.

My year in the classroom full of God's "Angels" ended on May 26. And I have learned so much. We forget sometimes when we care for them, that they are people. And they may not see, or hear as well and we really are not so sure what they understand. One of our girls is blind and so tiny and bent. It is easy just to walk up to her and start wiping her face or sticking the spoon in her mouth. I don't know when I realized that speaking to her before I touched her was so important. And touching her and kissing her forehead. Another of our angels, I learned to hold her hands when I would talk to her. Instead of talking at her or around her, when you hold her hand, she seems to listen. One young man walks around in another world most of the time bouncing his ball. And we would go for walks and you wonder how far away he really is when the look he has in his eyes looks to be about a 1,000 miles. And one day as I was caring for him, he leaned in for a very sloppy kiss. I could write and write about my kids, but then I would end up giving you names and that isn't allowed. I just know that these kids stole my heart. They accepted me into their world and gave me so much joy. On that last day of school, I realized that for two of my angels, I would not see them again. They have moved on. I hope that their new school and teachers will know them and see into their hearts and souls. Give them the respect and dignity they deserve. Maybe I will have to visit at WMHS and check in.

In August when I return to my journey, I will be joined at CJH by my grandson Billy Michael. He has some learning disabilities with a main diagnosis of Autism. I can't wait to be there with him. To help him feel comfortable and learn to love the school as much as I do. I will be returning to the general population so to speak, seeing all the students in different classes. Getting to know the 7th and 8th graders this year. With little contact or knowledge of the new 8th graders, it will feel like that first day 3 years ago.
I also will be thinking about that day 1969 when I first walked into CJH as a student in the 7th grade. This school is always like coming home for me. I feel like Peter Pan in the land where I never have to grow up.

I can't finish this blog with out thanking a few of the people I have been blessed to know. First of all, the administration. Mr.Peak you have gone out of your way to accommodate me this year. You could have filled my position at any time. I am sure it would have made it easier. Your understanding in all of this has been another testimony of the person you are. The students at CJH are so fortunate to have you in their lives.
Ms. Terry Sanders,You have been such a blessing to me. Your effort to give me the best and most positive experience every day has not gone unnoticed. You have been so good to me and given me so many opportunities. I can't thank you enough. Really, you should get a raise. The teachers at CJH are so welcoming to me. I am sure I am not the exception. You treat your subs with respect. Like I have said before. You make make me feel golden. I have heard some horror stories from other schools. Also, the librarians, are also available and help me anytime I need them.  Thank you CJH. Even our janitors go out of their way to make us welcome.

Our classroom consists of one lead teacher and 4 paras. In January we welcomed a new lead teacher into our classroom. Cindy worked very hard and long to get her degrees and pass her test to work in a classroom like ours.Thank you, Cindy for allowing me to continue to work the year out. Our kids need consistency with as little change as possible. We had been going through many changes with the leaving of our head teacher and other para. Then my 3 co workers. We had a great team and everyone was considerate of each other and all of you just dug in and we got things done. You always treated me as an equal even though...I was "Just a Sub".Miss Becca, Miss Coach Oliver and Miss Holly. I love you guys and will miss working with you. We became great friends I think.
Two other teachers came in every day to work with our kids. Coach D.Eddy and Ms. Beaty. 
 Coach Eddy was the PE teacher for our kids. We both were alumni from CJH. Best part of that, he will always be older than me. He also made me feel golden.
Ms. Beaty was our 5th hour teacher. She came in everyday and taught our students about science and geography. She loved our kids and entertained us. I could talk to her for hours, as I always learn something new when she is there. I can hardly wait for her to be a part of my grand children's education. She is in the lab classes and she will have probably 3 of them. I know she can't wait to retire and move to New Zealand, however I had to tell her NO, not yet. Ms. Beaty truly loves her job and the kids. I will miss working with you both everyday. I know I will see you, but it won't be quite the same. 

I know I am leaving out more thank yous and praises, but I have to end this soon. If I wrote around the clock about the Administration, Faculty, Support employees, and the students at CJH, I could not praise them enough, or let them know how much I love them. So I am finally shutting up and leave you with this; Goodbye for now. Enjoy your summer, I will see you at the beginning of the 2011/20012 school year if you let me.

1 comment:

Momof4boys said... have been a blessing in our classroom. When I walked in on that January morning, I had no idea what to expect. I'm so fortunate to have such a great team to have completed my "1st inning" on teaching. You guys were all awesome and so helpful in getting me on board with what was already happening in the classroom. I'm glad you were able to stay and complete the school year with us. However, I want you to know that you are more than welcome to return for many more years. You are an awesome asset to CJH and our classroom.

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