October 17, 2009
Well I have a happy story about a girl at the home and a sad story. I guess I’ll start with the sad so I can end on a happy note.
Nicole Rojas Mejia, is a girl from the home and is also in my second grade class. She has always had an attitude in school but we have had fun playing together outside of the teacher student relationship. Anyway, on Wednesday of this past week she was eating candy in class. I really don’t feel like this is a big deal but it’s a rule that all the students have to follow and so I have to enforce it for everyone. I asked her to give me her sucker and she said that she was going to wrap it up and save it for later. I agreed with her proposal but then she couldn’t find her wrapper and continued to eat it in my class. I asked her to throw it away and she gave me this giant attitude about how I wasn’t her mother and I couldn’t make her do anything. I said Nicole would you like to discuss this with Ms. Evelyn the principal… and she said yes, so I said ok lets go to the principal’s office then. I took her hand in mine and she ripped it out and then started screaming at me. I left the room to get some help with her and in the end no one could get her to leave the room. She sat in her seat the rest of class not participating. I felt bad about her undermining my authority in front of the whole class and wasn’t sure what to do. I went to ask Ms. Evelyn about it later and she informed me that she had already suspended her for Thursday because she has had an attitude with the homeroom teacher also. It turned out that the incident with me became the breaking point for her getting into a lot of trouble. They take it very seriously when the girls misbehave in the home so she has missed out on a lot of extra activities.
Ok, so the hard part for me is that she has been avoiding me since. I actually, after my experience tonight, prefer the ignoring Nicole rather than the attitude Nicole. I was walking by the home after the folkloric festival today and all the girls were looking out the windows trying to see what was going on. I went and talked to Melissa a little bit about running to the coca-cola sign with the girls next Saturday and then I went to the next window to say hi to those girls. I didn’t realize that Nicole was at the window, and before I had a chance to say anything, or to decide to walk away she had slammed the window shut in my face. I just smiled at her she made a snotty face back at me and then that was it. I walked away reminding myself that I will love her unconditionally and that I can handle her attitude… but it obviously still did not feel good.
The happier story is about another girl in second grade. Riccy is a total sweet heart and is a great student. She has a happy spirit and we seemed to have really clicked. Her birthday was last week and so at church last Sunday she got to go up for her Birthday prayer. After they pray they sing to all the people with birthdays that past week. Riccy turned around with a huge smile on her face and was just radiating with pride that she had turned ten years old. I got teary and felt the way I imagine a mother would feel about her daughter. I love Riccy and am so thankful for the opportunity to get to know her and to help educate her so that she can become some one that only she can imagine.
On Friday I found out that the dog I grew up with, Max, had to be put down. I got the news before I went to school so I was trying not to think about it too much, but the truth is it was very sad for me. I know everyone has to go through pets dying, and I’ve coped well, but he was still a great dog that I will miss greatly. Anyway all day Friday I was trying to stay happy, and at the end of school Riccy had written me a card saying that she would miss me when I moved back to the states. I told her how much it meant to me to get that card that day. A blessing no doubt, that this particular day she felt like writing me a card.
So there are ups and downs to this job, but in the end, I’m learning from everything and amazed by God’s presence in my life over and over again!