Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

A Walk

I think the first thing I’m going to do when I return to the Middle East will be to walk the entire length of THE Wall.  I will photograph and document it as I go and use this journey as a new start to my new life.

I love walking.  I feel it frees the mind and the heart.  I’m really excited for this enterprise – this freedom that will come in the midst of such oppression and imprisonment.

I hope this journey comes soon!


Laura Again

So my kids have been complete terrors recently.  I’ve been yelling and disciplining and yelling some more.  I’ve been confused and upset with them.  I want so much to show them love but this week I have had a tough time loving them.


It's Me!

But things are changing.  I simply (well not simply) decided to just let it go!  I’m starting over.  I’m going to discipline them in ways they will recognize (detentions) and I will love them in ways that they will recognize (time spent with them in friendship).  So this week we’re working on that.  I’m going to be happy again – because I can.

I can be happy because God loves me.  I can be happy because God loves these kids.  I can be happy because life is great and because I am different and changed and new.  I can love because love was given – freely to me.  Who am I to keep it for myself?

So this week’s lesson for me is patience and love.  Continuing to love and show grace even when it isn’t deserved.  I had a conversation with a student the other day about letting something go because grace is the point of it all.  “We were given grace even though it wasn’t what we deserved so how can you keep it from someone else.  If you do, you don’t hurt her, you hurt yourself.  You allow her to keep control over your heart and you will destroy your joy.  So give grace because who you are is joyous and loving and I don’t want to see you lose that.”  After that I had to swallow I big piece of humble pie.  Sheesh.  God definitely hit me with a 2×4!

So anyway, we’re starting over.  We’re loving and caring and encouraging again!  We’re Laura again.

School – Week 1

School started on Monday, so we just finished our first week (unofficially).  We have a half day on Saturday but nothing on Friday so the week is really over on Thursdays (we can’t give homework on Saturdays).  For those who don’t know, I teach 6th grade History and Bible, 8th grade Earth Science, 9th grade Physical Science, and 10th grade Biology.  I was a little nervous to teach science, since I didn’t really take a ton of it in college and I was never super excited about it in school.  I like it well enough but it’s no English or History (my two favs).  Anyway, the first week has been WONDERFUL!  Let me tell you all about it.

This was what I wore for the first day of school!

This was what I wore for the first day of school!

I started each of my classes the same on Monday.  “My name is Miss Laura.  Not Miss.  Not Laura.  Miss Laura.  I will not respond to anything else.  Now, clear your desks for a quiz (it was a “tell me about yourself” quiz).”  As soon as the quiz was handed in, I passed out the syllabus and started in on that.  Then if there was time we started the first section in the book or an activity.

My 8th graders are the first period of the day.  Heeheehee.  They looked as though they were going to wet themselves!  But as class progressed I saw their personalities start to come out!  They are a great group of kids.  Most are very inquisitive which is great for a science class.  And smart!  Boy, o boy they keep me on my toes.

My 10th graders are the 3rd period (second period is my prep).  There are only 8 students in the 10th grade and they’ve all been going to school together since 6th grade!  They LOVE to talk in my class and their goal is to get me off topic and not teaching!  What they don’t know is that I only “let them succeed” if I want to … not because they’ve somehow found a way to make me forget I’m supposed to teach them!

My 6th graders are 4th and 6th periods but because of schedule changes this week I haven’t taught them yet.  I’ve met some of them on the playground though and one little girl came up to me after school on Thursday, “Miss … Miss Laura, when are you going to teach our class?”  Smiling I said, “I’ll be there on Saturday!”  She nodded, smiled, and ran off to play!  Cute, cute, cute!

My 9th graders are 5th period.  the first day they acted all indifferent to me.  It was as if they wanted me to know they weren’t going to like me or my class … no matter how hard I tried!  But by the end of the school day they were chatting with me before their rides came.

Every morning I go out to the courtyard to hang out and chat with the students.  Most of the girls will at least come over and say “hello Miss Laura.”  Some actually seek me out for a conversation!  YAY!  We also have one break during the day – like a lunch/recess.  I only have to be out at break on Mondays, but I’ve been out during each one because it’s another chance to get to know these kids and find a way into their worlds!

Teens here are not too different than teens in other parts of the world.  They want to get out of work, they want to be understood, and they want to be cool!  : )  I love teenagers!  They are definitely the most interesting people in the world because that stage in life is so … dynamic!

Since this was our first week of classes we were on half days.  The elementary school used their Monday through Thursday schedule and just cut it short, but the high school used their Saturday schedule (hence the schedule changes that led to no 6th grade classes this week).  But because of this, I got to be outside for the elementary school breaks too!  So fun! Those kids are super cute but mischievous.  They try everything to get under the rules.  One of the other teachers would stand at the door to the school and not let a single kid inside unless they could tell her where they were going.  The kids are only allowed inside during break if they are headed to the bathroom or canteen.

Another plus of the schedule issues: I got to play Save the King (dodgeball) with the 4th graders!  I joined one team and we easily won because I could actually catch the ball when it was thrown!  Then the losing team said I HAD to switch teams for the second game.  So I was the one everyone tried to get out!  It was SO fun!  But the best part was the kids’ reactions to my tattoos.  They just didn’t get it and kept asking why I wear those (pointing to my right arm).  I didn’t really know how to explain tattoos to 9 and 10 year olds so I just said “because I like them.”  This seemed to be enough for them.  But a few would then ask if I could take them off and things like that.  When school ended, one of the little 4th grade boys came up to me and was continuing to ask about my tattoos.  After a minute or two he innocently looks longingly into my eyes and asks “can you get me one?”  I was speechless!  “Ummm… you have to have money,” I said with my arms up.  “I have money, Miss.”  He was excited now!  “Ummm…you have to be 18!”  In my head I’m thinking, this is bad.  This kid is going to go home and ask for tattoos like the cool teacher at school and his parents are going to freak out!  But he had to leave then so the conversation was dropped.

Even my high schoolers ask me about my tattoos.  “Why do you have them?”  “Do they hurt?”  “Do they come off?”  “What are they?”  “What do they say?”  “Let me see it!”  Etc.  It is nice that I don’t have to cover them up for school (unless our superintendent is around).

A few of my students are … inquisitive (a handful!).  They will take a little extra love to get through to but I know that God has me here to be that person for these kids!

Yesterday I had 2 of my 3 high school classes taking quizzes (the 3rd took theirs on Wednesday) and as we graded them I was laughing … hard.  “Miss?”  “Miss who?”  Eye roll, “Miss Laura?”  “Yes?”  “Is planets and stars okay?”  Yes.”  “Miss Laura, is planets and the sun okay?”  “Yes.”  “Miss Laura, is meteors and planets okay?”  “Yes, guys if planets was okay for one of you, it’s going to be okay for all of you!”  Heeheehee.  That is what I deal with!  “Miss?”  “Miss who?”  Eye roll, “Miss Laura … then they ask the same question that the last 5 kids asked!  It cracks me up … hopefully we’ll work on listening skills and get that taken care of by the end of the first 9 weeks.

Well, I think that’s enough for Week 1.   I know my kids will fill more blog posts!  Stay tuned!


Today is the day I leave for my my big adventure.  I’m not sure how should be feeling right now.  I’m a big mix of emotions.

1. Sadness:  I am not ready to leave my friends.  They are great people and I’m going to miss them immensely.  I have come to lean on them for support in life and I’m not sure if I’m ready to change that just yet.

2. Nervousness:  Travel is never an easy thing and I’ll be on an airplane for 18 hours (with time changes)!  Not to mention I’ll be traveling internationally so there will be customs and passports and check points and possible interrogations.  Yikes!

3. Excitement: I will get to see the places Jesus saw!  ‘Nough said.

4. Anxiety: Will the students like me?  Will I be able to relate to them?  Will I be able to teach them?  Will my roommate like me?  Will I like the food?  Etc.

5. Confidence:  This is my path and I am supposed to follow it.  Who am I to mess with God’s plan and work?!

Well, that’s really all I have right now.  Wish me luck!