You know, I was trying to think of what to blog about today, and I'm just kind of coming up blank. Over the last week I've been subbing at an elementary school and the kids there are so precious and full of potential and possibilities that it makes it difficult for me to process the tragic events of yesterday. So I'm not going to talk about it because it is a very heated topic; I have my opinions, but I'm going to go ahead and keep them to myself.
Teaching elementary kids is so much better than high school it's completely awesome. I subbed at the same school for the entire week, I bounced around to different classes and it was a great experience. I hope that I can stick with them forever. Yesterday, as I was leaving, Different kids I'd taught during the week came up to me and said "Hi!", or cheerfully explained to their teacher that I was a great sub, I even got a few hugs. It was really sweet.
I have to say the kids that stuck with me the most though, were the ones in the Special Ed Behavioral Unit that I subbed for on Thursday. Those little kids totally broke my heart. The two youngest ones (1st Graders) were very sweet. At one point during the class one said "I wish I was smarter so I could go back to my regular class." the aide and I explained to her that she was smart, the aide went on to further explain that the reason she is in this class is because of her behavior. The other little girl became a favorite with me. She needed a lot of one-on-one time because she didn't get to go to the holiday assembly with the rest of the kids. Only 3 were held back from the assembly, and there were 3 of us there, so each got one-on-one time. She was really trying her best to be good and do her assignment, but because she had one or two "slip-ups" she wasn't allowed to "move up a level". Apparently the children have to maintain 20 days of perfect behavior, then there's a meeting with the parents, their teachers, and the student, to see if they can go back to the regular classes. From what I could tell, several of the students had perfect behavior for over 30 days. All these kids want is to be "normal" and to go back to their regular class. Several of them voiced this during the course of the day I was there. The one little girl in particular wanted to move up so badly and wanted reassurance that one day she'd be able to go back there. She shattered my heart into a million pieces.
The teachers were very strict, and I know they have to be, but they just seemed downright mean for the most part. Some of these issues these kids have, I'm not sure are things that can be helped. They were all trying very hard to do their best and it seemed like the majority of the time, their good behavior was ignored, and the bad behavior was all that was getting any attention. It was by far the most emotionally difficult day subbing and I left feeling so sad for them. No one wants to see a child to be denied their hopes and dreams, and what these kids want, is just to be a regular student in regular school.
Subbing also made me realize though, just how much capacity I have in my heart for love. I took away from this week, more than ever, how much I really do wants kids. I want a child to encourage, to see grow and become an amazing human being. Hubbs and I aren't sure that we're ready, and maybe we'll never FEEL ready...but we know that we have enough love in our hearts to be awesome parents. We just hope the agency and the birth parents feel the same way. We're getting everything together this weekend so we can FINALLY have our first meeting with the adoption agency. It is terrifying and exciting all at the same time, but it is really happening and that is so incredibly spectacular. Wish us luck!