For the most part, I am enjoying this new position as preschool teacher. I'm in a fresh new building, decorated with educational visuals and plenty of tools for my little students.
I'm surrounded by the smell of new construction and it's tiny errors too. I did say tiny right?
At this early time of the Academy's enrollment, I only have 3 children in my classroom. Adorable bright faces that greet me.... they are ready to play in the sensory table with sand, pom-poms, colored water or whatever their teacher decides to take a risk in adding to this ever popular table. My risk is never dull for these darling eager-to-learn little people.
There is only one problem. I do not speak French nor do I speak Russian. "T" is French and "V" is Russian. I found a French language travel book that my father-in-law had stashed away, so now I'm able to find some useful words.
On a good note, both students have parents who are very accommodating and helpful in this transition not only for their children, but for the teacher! Now, I'm waiting for the little Italiano or China Doll to enroll that'll be right up my avenue!
This experience for me is very cool. I wanted diversity- and I've been given an opportunity that is not only educational- this experience is giving me an internal growth. I've been surrounded by diversity in my life many times. My own family is diverse. But when you get the opportunity to have such touching experiences- it's a gift. These children who are in my care while their parents travel to DC, Maryland or only down the road to the Tech office....are trusting in me to give them security and loving arms to run to when they feel sad. With this language barrier, you would think these little people who know me only for a short period of time wouldn't be able to feel this sense of security from a woman who speaks no French or Russian. Instead....they feel it. They see my smile and my open arms anxiously waiting their good morning hugs.
For "T" and this teacher..... as we interact in the Drama Center..... I teasingly ask him for Grey Poupon!
He smiles..... hands me a plastic play kitchen bowl and tells me to manger. meaning to eat
And I'm getting paid for this!
As I continue to work towards a new degree, I sometimes wonder if I should be looking to change careers. Well, it's not exactly a complete career change, I'll still work with children.
Art Therapy is not sitting and having Grey Poupon with a little man named "T".
In my heart I know what I'm being driven....guided to do. My purpose.
But until I complete my schooling....and move towards a new career location.....I will absorb all the wonders of childhood. I will embrace these new languages and cultures with pure celebration. As any mother who returns to work- we never take our family members especially our children for granted. Like our families....I will not take these young children and their families for granted. They are not only learning from me....I am learning from them.
I decided to ask each of my (3) families to share with me their holiday celebrations during this winter season. "O" is from England, and celebrates Christmas. And thank heavens "O" is a little girl! I need someone to assist in the tea party, while we have that Grey Poupon!
I'm here. And it's wonderful. even in the moment of chaos
Apple Cheeks is adjusting to her classroom schedule. She is meeting friends in her class from India, Korea and as she puts it....Virginia!
China Doll is surrounded in high school by a rainbow of students. She is feeling blended.
Today is Saturday. Now I can look forward to the weekends like most of the working world.
Today will be full..... but will not be taken for granted.
Life Lesson: Teaching = Learning from those who surround you.