So the mind is a powerful thing. I have built up so much dread of my Friday JA sessions that I grow more and more anxious about it as it approaches each Friday. When I think about it, my mind instantly goes to work thinking of ways I can get out of it -- weighing if I can justify quitting, even. Is it making me grow or is it just frustrating the hell out of me?
I just got back from my 3rd of 5 sessions. I had resolved to just put on my mental football helmet and gear and get through it. When I get there, the kids are quiet and few of them even seem excited. It's small, but it knocked whatever hopes I had tried to hold on to out at the knees. Poker face time... I drew on my joy from thinking about the weekend and asked them how their week was, if they were excited about the weekend, and if they had been swimming yet. That got them in the mood, and they started smiling and squirming. I tried something my mom suggested, before I asked for volunteers, I told them at the beginning that I'd be choosing 7 volunteers later, and that I would only choose the 7 best behaved, quietest kids. It worked pretty well some of the kids still couldn't contain themselves and were jumping out of their seats with their hands stretched out as far as possible, mouthing "pick me!" -- the ones I chose were actually ones who didn't even look like they wanted to do it. I had to ask them, do you want to do this?? lol, and they did of course.
The teacher stayed in the class today, and she would yell out, "hey! You! Sit down and listen to Miss Kendra." so that the sharpness of her voice always caught me off guard but it kept a lot more order in the classroom than my two previous sessions.
I felt like the lesson was actually a better one for the kids to digest, and between that and the better behavior, we got through it rather successfully with like 10 minutes to spare. So it was good and the kids got to work on their color sheets.
Towards the end, a voice came on the loud speaker and asked Ms. Hamilton to send 3 of the students in for testing. They were all 3 of the hispanic students. Hmmm. I didn't even get to tell them goodbye, they are actually 3 of the sweetest kids.
I am starting to fall in love with them a little bit. I am glad I have two more sessions with them. It was never them that was the frustrating part, it was just the chaos which I blame the teacher for. In my training they told me to leave the discipline to the teacher, which was a relief to me. When she leaves (although that first time it helped), the crowd goes wild. I'm not trained to handle them, they made it very clear that I am just there to have fun with them while conveying a message.
The kids themselves are awesome though. They're all different. They all want to help, and I wish I could remember to keep track and give them all a chance to help.
One girl comments on my outfit every time... lol.
Going to the rodeo tomorrow night!! I've got me 2 free tickets from work... sweeeeeeeeeeet! We were going anyway with Rachel and her brand new man friend, but now we don't have to pay the $20 to get them. Rock on!