Category Archives: Summertime Sayings

Reasons why I can’t be an elementary school teacher

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For six weeks I have walked the blue and gold hallways of my old elementary school with 40 or so kids trying to keep them entertained and from killing each other. My goal was simple. I wanted to be a friend to every kid who walked through the door.

Never have I ever worked with kids in such a close capacity. Sure, I have babysat, worked with kids at church, and kept my fair share of the nursery. However, I never had to continue working with the same kids for such a long duration.

I walked in my first day staring at several little faces not knowing a single kid. All sorts of kids stared back. Little kids, big kids, medium-sized kids, kids with broken hearts, kids with troubled family lives, mean kids, nice kids, and kids who possessed more imagination than I ever thought possible.

Not much effort is required to tug at my heart-strings, and anything can fall out of kid’s mouth. I’ve heard more sad stories about twisted family trees, pets dying, apathetic parents, and the list continues. I’ve tried to always be a friend to even the worst acting kids. I wonder what some of my kids go home to, and how happy they are, which is my primary reason for never wanting to yell at children.

Yes, all of my kids have pushed my buttons this summer. They’ve all left messes, climbed the wrong things, talked too loudly, don’t listen, and pretend I am not there when telling them sit down. I truly hate jumping their case, but everyone needs correction now and then. I just never want to yell or lose my cool with a kid.

I remember what it was like to be a sensitive little kid. I would cry when I had to pull my yellow card for a warning much less get called out in front of all the others. For the most part, my job consists of hanging out with kids. Even though I am charge of them, I’d rather be a friend than a dictator. I would never want anything I said to destroy a kid, which is why I never yell. Call me a pushover if you must. I am not the best disciplinarian, and I hate sending kids to timeout or making them sit alone for punishment.

As these long, hot days dwindled by, I played endless games of four square, Super Mario Brothers, and Uno. I swam and splashed kids in the pool with 100 degree weather beating down. I gave piggy back rides and played intense soccer games with older kids, cutting my knees and realizing I am not in shape like they are.

More often and not, I would rather watch then play with kids because they always cheat and get angry when I beat them. Just because they are in the fifth grade doesn’t entitle them to always win, you know. I liked to sit from my blue bench or the wooden picnic table in the shade and watch. I truly forgot what it was like to have such an active, deep imagination. I watched my kids fight zombies, aliens, perform plays, gymnastics, and try to dig to China.

Tomorrow ends my days of watching kids for eight or nine hours a day. During our time together, I have developed relationships with most and enjoyed getting to be apart of their life for this short time. I knew I would become attached to some of these kids, some I will probably never see again. I worry for some of them, and I wonder what kind of people they will become. More than anything, I want these kids to be happy like I was when I was their age.

I could never teach kids 180 days of the year. I wouldn’t want to keep a classroom environment all day, and you probably never want me to teach your kid math anyways. Even though I could make them the coolest grammar guru ever, I would rather hang out with them. Talk to them. Discover what’s going on behind the faces with a few teeth missing. Most importantly, I just want to make them smile and let them have fun being young while they can.

Some days, I watch my kids and think about badly I want to be a kid again. No responsibilities, endless possibilities.

Drowning in the moonlight

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I always enjoy when the moon comes out to play. It lights up the ground before me, but I get shadows to explore and watch the bright stars above.

Full moons and the ocean make me think more than anything else . I am not sure what is, but both cause me to be still, which is something I rarely am. Being still allows me to try to listen to God since he ordered us to do that almost everywhere in the Bible.

I am downright horrible at staying at rest. You know what they say about bodies in motion and bodies at rest. I never like mine to be not moving. Right now, I feel like my life is in limbo. I am not really sure what my purpose for being home this summer is. I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing.

As of the past couple of weeks, I feel like I am walking outside on a night like tonight. Occasionally I am in the light and can see where I am going, but often times I find myself stumbling in the dark among the scary branches and the deep shadows.

I wish understood how to truly relax. How to truly become at ease. Hopefully, this summer can teach me how to do that. Perhaps, people are one extreme or the other because I certainly haven’t found a happy medium yet. For some reason, I feel like I must be the Energizer bunny who never quits moving. For those of us that are emotionally incompetent, downtime to lay around and simply think is never easy, and probably making us want to move even more.

Thoughts of my planner trickle by along with dates and deadlines, not to mention the emotions and thoughts I just never want to really handle or confront. Behind every facade and face is a person with thoughts and feelings we probably never realized he or she had. The most composed people always surprise me when adversity strikes. Maybe being composed isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

My mind is restless like it is every night. The noise of my fan and curtains rustling against the blinds aren’t the lullaby that will put me to sleep tonight. Not even the Golden Girls can silence this pensive mood that is weighing down my thoughts.

I don’t what I am supposed to do this summer or what I need to see. I want to learn what it’s like to not microanalyze every decision and thought. Traveling this path probably won’t be easy. It’s sorta like the moonlight. The moonlight only takes you so far and the journey has to be slow.

Front Porch Fumblings

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The air is pretty still in Manchester, Tennessee, with nothing really happening but the occasional thunderstorm to settle the dust. The corn continues to grow taller and more brown. Here I sit, daydreaming my days away and doing a lot of nothing.

The month of May has proven to be a pretty exciting though as I have been able to cover a high-profile murder trial for six days, and I turned 19. However, the rest of my days lasted long, and I barely stirred around the house. Without work, I wasn’t really sure what to do. That’s the problem with being a workaholic.

I have finally found the inspiration to get up and write something more than a hard news lead. For the past ten months, the majority of all my words have circulated around school and news story after news story. I love writing news, and sometimes I even liked writing papers for school. All my personal thoughts and otherwise have just sat suppressed inside me without much of a place to go.

Now sitting before me, I have three months of summer and a day job that I started today. I will work with kids all summer being an ESP worker at my former elementary school. I opened the glass doors this morning to what looked like a new school but still the same. The smell of those places never leave no matter how many times they change the carpet or the ceiling tiles.

I look forward to my summer. I want to get back to being healthy or at least running . I want to lay in the sun and let its rays encompass me. But really, I just want a tan.  I want my callouses to come back on my fingers, and get back to playing the guitar. More than anything, I want to write for me. Yeah, I will have to write for my newspaper occasionally, and I will have to work on my college ministry’s blog.

The selfish part of me wants my writing to be more for me. I’m sure I’ll collect a summer’s worth of tales to blog about. I’m not excited about the summer. I am not sad either. Rather, I am content. I am fairly flexible with what happens, and I have set few goals.

Perhaps, it is okay every once in a while to go lax with goals and visions. I think I want to let my mind wander and go where it may.