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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Breathe In, Breathe Out

I don't think anyone understands how exhausting teaching is, besides those who teach. Its a physical (yep that's right), mental and emotional job......and it should be.
I keep asking my other first year teacher friends if they are able to stay awake past 8:30 hoping that I am not the only "lame" one who can't stay awake through one tv show with her husband anymore. Adam has come home several times around 5 and has literally scared the snot out of me as I was unconscious and didn't hear anyone come in the house. This past Sunday I couldn't wake up....I literally slept the entire night, woke up about 10, went back to bed at 10:30 and didn't get back up off the couch until 6 that night....my body refused to get up and when I did try to walk I was very very dizzy ( apparently though this is normal--so says my other teacher friends)
To add to it I have been coaching volleyball for the last 10 weeks, which adds an hour of practice onto 4 days of the week and 3 hours of games ( and traveling) twice a week. Needless to say, the last game was bittersweet. I really did enjoy coaching though, especially watching the girls improve, and I look forward to next year's season.
I have to say right now how thankful I am to be at a Christian school. I have a friend who is teaching in a public school and is miserable. I am not saying that it this norm for all public school teachers but I can definitely see the benefits I am reaping from teaching children who love the same God that I do. I think the biggest difference is in the behavior, but please don't mistake them for angels :).
I have learned that teaching requires you to be on your game for 7 straight hours a day. You can't really "wing it"...and if you do, your students can tell.
Two awesome things that have happened so far ( one taught me something and one was just a great moment period) both happened between myself and a 7th grader.
One day, after 2 hours of volleyball practice and 5 art classes, the bell rang to release the students and one of my 7th grade boys stayed behind. He said " I want to apologize for my whole class today Mrs. Harvell". He almost had tears in his eyes. He said that he could tell how stressed out they made me and that he was sorry that they came to my class so loud and crazy. WOW....talk about a wake up call. I explained to him that I was the one that should be sorry and I should never let any of my students leave thinking about how stressed out I was. It was my attitude that needed to change. So what if they are the last class of the day, or if there are 8 of them who don't know where the paint is, though I show them every day. I should always give every class my best and expect the same from them. I've tried to put a smile on and love on that class a little extra ever since.
Second, on the way from my bible class to art class I was walking with a 7th grade girl and she looked at me with a very red face and pointed to her throat. She had swallowed her cough drop. We were just talking, but I had heard her make a funny sound when she swallowed it. I asked her if she could breathe and she shook her head no. I sent two students to get the nurse and started performing the Heimlich on her. A 6th grade class was watching and saying " is she going to die". I had just attended a CPR class for our adoption and knew that I had to keep her calm so I just ignored them and coached her that we were going to get it out and to keep coughing. I did the heimlich three times before she coughed up enough to make herself gag up the darn coughdrop. The nurse had her after that and gave her some water to help ease her sore throat. Her mom sent me a kind note the next day....but wouldn't you know that I when I saw that sweet little girl later on she was sucking on another cough drop :).
Last, I just received the most wonderful book ever!! My mentor, Mrs. Johnt has finally been able to publish her book with 100 tips for new art teachers. I honestly think it would help any teacher in any discipline. Keep in mind that I credit Mrs. Johnt with leading me to choose Art Education and have continuously reaped the benefits from her experiences and wisdom. In the book, she asks you to think about why you are teaching?, what do you hope that you students will remember about your class 10 years from now?.....those kinds of questions put my day in perspective. This is not a commercial for her book but definitely just a thanks for providing me with tons of invaluable knowledge and for being a sounding board for me.

Adoption update- there's always something huh?
Well Fort Worth City has decided that they are no longer doing fire inspections so now we are on a list for Tarrant County, which means waiting by the phone so that we don't miss our chance for this month and get bumped to next month's list. We thought that this inspection had already been performed on our house....but I guess they forgot about it that day when they came and stayed for 4.5 hours and searched through our entire house and our souls :).

Prayer Request- we are getting desperate to sell our TN home, the mortgage payment we make every month is money needed to buy a kid friendly car so that when all of this necessary evil is over and we have our kids we can actually transport them safely!!!!!!!