>My days of laying around relaxing came to a quick halt almost a month ago. I can’t believe I have already been in school that long. I have been through two grueling 45 min. back to school night speeches, a bus ride to Salinas for a conference (in which the bus broke down on the way), and my first parent complaint that I am making the kids nervous when it comes to their grades. I keep getting the common question of, “How’s your school year going?” So I thought I would just put it out there. I can’t believe this is my fifth year in the fifth grade. Mission is definitely aging me. I think I forget how hard it is for new beginnings as the kids walk in the door day 1. I just expect them to act like my last year’s class. Totally whipped into shape, walking in silently, raising their hand for everything, never misbehaving, and at the end of the day thanking me for teaching them. Oh no, my class is not shy this year. I have an overabundance of boys, very ACTIVE boys, that I do believe live for recess so that they can check out equipment for the playground. I am always shocked when we are in the middle of a science lesson and a boy raises his hand and asks if he can check out the rubber ball for recess. Mind you, recess is a good half hour away. Having 35 students this year is something I am also getting used to. Last year I only had 28 and thought I was living the life! Tim and I starting helping in the children’t ministry at church. We only have 6 student in the 2-3 grade class we are helping out in and they always have a helper. I found myself thinking, why on earth would you need a helper? 6 kids…piece of cake I deal with 35 everyday! I also have two lovely students both boys, that love to raise their hands. Most of the day I just have to remind myself that patience is a virtue. Handraiser #1 loves to raise his hand when I ask if anyone has a question and tricks us all into listening to a story about the old school he just came from. I now clarify to the class that, “If you are raising your hand to tell us a story about your old school and not ask us a question, then you need to put it down. I would love to hear that story at recess.” Works every time. Handraiser #2 loves to ask questions out of the blue when I am in my busiest moments. For example, one day when the bell was about to ring and I was dealing with many students, Handraiser #2 walks up and very loudly asks me why the desk he was sitting in was so small. I think my response was, “You’ll have to live with it.” Definitely a day where my patience was lacking. Maybe not the best answer, but who asks a question like that when we are writing down what we have for homework that night? Handraiser #2 has also gotten quite good at sneaking in a question after I ask him to read a paragraph in the book. He finishes the paragraph in a mumble so he can practically continue the last sentence with his question as if it were one. He has gotten me a few times with this one. Very clever. I must say that my job never really gets boring when you put an eclectic goup of 35 ten and eleven year olds together. And I know I could never sit in a cubicle all day long. So I take the good with the bad and hopefully teach these 35 students some knowledge about life, how to love Jesus, and all that other important stuff like math and grammar.

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