Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Springfield

     Something happened a few years ago that changed the way I look at myself and others.
    After living in Pennsylvania, California, Texas, North Carolina and Okinawa, we decided to stay here in Virginia.
      I volunteered at my sons' elementary school, as I had in Carlisle and San Diego, to keep an eye on things and make sure they were getting settled in. I liked the school so much that I decided to substitute, first in art and then in the autism department.
     It was physically and mentally demanding, but I loved it. The days flew by, and there were interesting stories to share with my family once I got home. Happy stories. I slept well at night, at least for me.
     I fit in better with the students than I did with most of the teachers. This didn't come as any big surprise to me. My students could see that I was having a hard time fitting in, just like them. We could relate to one another and develop our "social skills" together.
     They knew I was trying so hard because I wanted to come back the next day, and the next, so I could keep teaching them. That's honestly all it took for me to be good at my job.
     Walking to my car every afternoon, I knew my students had a better day because I was there; they weren't as nervous. They fit in better.
     It was a wonderful feeling.