Thursday, September 6, 2012

Big Heart

Today was another great day of teaching!  Has been an awesome year so far.  Probably made even better by the fact that last year was one of the hardest years Jeremy and I have ever faced - two kids in daycare (financial stress and a $1800-$1900 payment per month), taking care of three children, 30 plus kids in many classes at school on a three day rotation and still managing everyday needs plus piano students, etsy, and juggling both of us being full time employees.

I probably talk about it too much, but I know that I'll be able to look back and see how far God has taken us.  And remembering what life was like when we were 'younger' will make me appreciate even more what it is to come.  After all, I have a diary from our first year of marriage that is somewhat hilarious and mostly candid and very honest.  That definitely makes me appreciate where we are now.

Today I was very appreciative and thankful for a daughter whose heart is so big.  Having Riley in class is one of the most special things that has ever happened.  It is neat to watch her and know her classmates and spend time with them for 20-25 minutes every other day. They are truly an amazing group of kids.

During music today, we had SQUILT time (super quiet un-interrupted listening time).  We talk about what good listening looks like and sounds like.  I give them four parts to listen to.  And we talk about how we sit as a good listener.  The kids were pros.  They were amazing!  Not a peep out of any of the 24 kids listening.  And they are only five or just turned six!!!

We listened to Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite.  As they listened, I wrote out the order of the sections "ABACADA" on the board and pointed out that all the A sections sound the same.  When they hear the A sections, they get to wave their scarves around - each kid has two scarves - and when they hear a B, C, or D section, they hide under their scarf on the floor until the A section comes up again.  So they hear same/different.

I passed out the scarves and as soon as the students get them, I tell them they should find a spot in the room and they can go ahead and swirl them and toss them (they are going to do it anyway and it keeps them busy and entertained while I get them all out).  The kids love this of course!  And they were so quiet as they did it.

I figured I had enough scarves as our classes were smaller last year and I didn't realize that I would be short four scarves.  Didn't cross my mind that these classes were so much larger and I thought I had a ton of scarves.  All the scarves were passed out and I still had two kids who had no scarves.  So I asked the class if anyone would mind giving one of their scarves to one of the kids who didn't have one.

There was literally not a second of waiting when I saw Riley walking toward one of the kids saying "Sure!!!  I'll give them one of mine!"  And then she even offered her friend a choice between the two colors that she had.  She was the only child who offered to give one up.  And once she did, she happily skipped to her spot and waved the one she had.

I asked if someone else would mind giving up one and another student offered up theirs.  I thanked them for sharing and was so incredibly thankful for such a giving, thoughtful girl.  The best part was that not only did the kid who got one scarf have fun, but Riley had pure joy on her face as she waved the scarf she had and was totally content.

When the activity finished, I asked the kids to spread out their scarf and showed them how to fold it.  For many kids this is easy.  Fold four times.  I tell them that it is ok if it is not perfect.  That we just want it folded a few times to fit in the bin.  Riley shares a locker with a little boy named Johnny.  He folded his scarf and tried his best.  Got frustrated and tossed it into the bin.  He was saying something about not doing it right.  I told him that I thought he did a great job folding it and then thanked him for working so hard on folding it so nicely.  He looked up at me and was totally shocked.  He asked "I did it good?"  And I told him that he did a great job!  He then looked at Riley and said in his little accent "Wow, your mom is so sweet!"  Riley smiled and said "Yes, she is."  So I've made a little friend out of him which is great because he is the kind of kid who needs a lot of love and recognition for doing his best.

I asked Riley how she liked her class and she says she loves them all.  I asked if anyone was mean and she said "Oh no Mom!  Noone is mean!  Everybody is so great!"  They are truly an unbelievably wonderful group of kids.  So blessed that she is with such a great group.


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