Friday, April 25, 2008

number the stars

99th post.
365 days of blogging.
90th day of substitute teaching!
21 days until I leave LA for about 121 days...

for the last 2 weeks I have been working with a special education class at Hollywood High and I know this might sound cliche-- but they taught me so much. I spent the first several days feeling like I was going to explode, or lose it, or kill them, or crumble in a crying heap on the floor in utter defeat. But I made it!! And we learned a lot from each other I think. I challenged them quite a bit, demanding a "crazy" amount of work from them, and I made sure they had fun, and respected me and each other and the aides in the room... and now I actually miss them a little bit. The best day was when I brought in the game Taboo and we played that by a very modified set of rules that included being able to say ALL of the 'taboo words' and actually say the main word out loud but in slow motion... They loved it.

Then the past 2 days I have been working with sixth graders in a sort of honors program at a public middle school designed by Richard Neutra. I have gotten to listen to 120 presentations on "Building a Healthy Relationship" where the kids had to make a wheel with 8 sections describing "what you need to have a healthy relationship." Big hits were- "communication," "loyalty," "trust," "love," and "patience." My favorites were: "rememberance-- remembering the things that someone you love tells you and their birthday and stuff," "personal leisure time, or space-- so that you don't lose your mind and you do your own thing because couples who spend all their time together are boring and then you don't have anything to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend about," and "time-- you can't have a great relationship after only 1 day, it takes time, and you need to spend time hanging out, like for 5 years." Those are actual quotes. Wow, 5 years is almost half of those kids' lives.
If only all the confused 20-something year-olds I know could remember what they may have known so viscerally at eleven... what happens in those 15 or so years? It would actually be a compliment to say that some of the behavior is "childish"...

As much as it makes me crazy I am really grateful to these kids I get to teach. Yep, you guess where this is going...
they keep teaching me. SO much.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Congratulations on a YEAR of blogging, Colt Coeur!

Keep on!