LIFE RIGHT NOW ◽ YOU
I wouldn’t know yet, but I’ve heard that when you have kids of your own, you think they are simply the cutest kid(s) in the world. That is just how I feel about the students in my class. They are the cutest students in the entire school, not just because of their itty bitty size, although that is one of the things that makes them so cute. But honestly, every single one of them is adorable and really sweet.
I am currently an assistant teacher in a special education preschool classroom at an elementary school in Round Rock. This is my 2nd year at this school, and I’d like to share my thoughts on my job…as I experience it each day.
I work with a lead teacher and another assistant teacher and every day is an adventure with our now, 15 students. Our lead teacher is out on maternity leave at the moment, so it is an even bigger adventure. We are literally counting down the days till she returns, with none other than a brightly colored paper chain.
I love what I do, even though it gets exhausting at times. The days are long and sometimes the weeks feel like they will never end. However, I look at the calendar and it tells me we are already half way through another school year. It shocks me every time how fast time goes by.
My schedule is a little different than all the other assistants on campus. Our classroom includes a childcare program for the teachers’ kids, called “Together We Can” and I am the one that stays with the “TWC” kids, (as we call them) until they get picked up after school. I go into work at 8 and leave at 5. Due to those hours, I get a one hour lunch break. I have come to like this schedule even though my days end later than I would like. I have never had an hour lunch before and (let me tell you) it is kind of nice! I usually have the break room to myself at that hour, so it is peaceful and quiet. Sometimes, I put in my headphones and watch a show on my phone to decompress. Recently, I have taken to reading a book while I eat, since one hour is long enough to read a significant amount of a good story. I am intent on reading more this year, so any suggestions on must-reads are welcome!
If someone were to ask me what I love most about my job, I would have to say being able to help create a safe and loving environment for these little students to learn and grow in. Sometimes I worry if I am making a difference at all, but then I see one of the children coming out of their shell a little more and learning new things. Maybe I am making a difference, after all! And there is nothing better than walking into class every morning and being greeted by several little voices, almost in unison. It gets even better when instead of a chorus of, “Hi Miss Bethany,” it is mostly “Hi, Miss Befany.” Some of them can’t quite say the “th” sound yet and that brightens my day.
If someone were to ask me what I love least about my job, I suppose I would have to say it is the lack of friendships. I was hoping to make more good friends here like I did at my old school, but for whatever reason that has not come about. It could very well be me and my introverted tendencies. Or it could be the fact that everyone is in their own little classroom bubble (including me) with very little time to get to know one another. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone I do talk to is very friendly, but that does not mean they are open to a new friendship. I feel like a little kid telling my mommy that no one wants to be my friend at school. It would be nice to have at least one true friend and to not feel so alone and unseen at work, since it is where I spend the majority of my time, but I will still try to make others feel seen and love them - no matter what.
I have come to realize that around the same time I’ve been feeling discouraged about my lack of friends at work, I have gained a few more friends outside of work. God has brought a few amazing women into my life. They go to my church and they are all beautiful, encouraging women of God. We are slowly getting to know each other. I already know that when I need prayer for anything they are there to offer words of encouragement and prayer. They are reminding me that I am always seen by the One that knows us all the best and loves us the most…Jesus.
A day at work, observing and learning and teaching, and then thinking and thanking and loving…I’m reminded that all of my experiences are seen and noted and led by my best Friend of all.