Saturday, February 16, 2013

Someone special to me once told me, "stay young as long as you can!"

February 17th, 2013:

             “The best feeling of happiness is when you’ve made somebody else happy.”

            Another Peace Corps Volunteer just shared her story of how she rides her bike to elementary schools in her community and sings with the youngsters. Spreading music, spreading laughs, spreading love, she wrote beautifully about how she missed spending time with young children (pre-school age) so she took on a new challenge to add something to her life that satisfied her desire. This got me thinking.
            When I first received my assignment to work with high school students I was completely bummed. However, determined to start my journey on a positive note with a jump of enthusiasm in my step, I brain washed myself into thinking that it was not going to be that bad working with high school students. Thinking of my own high school experience, this exercise to create positive thoughts almost failed. But, something, some spark told me that working with high school students here in the Philippines might be different. Being different is part of my way of life so I was not afraid anymore. Rather than being afraid of changing hormones, afraid of “I am a bad ass high school student” mischief, I just kept walking.
            Walking quickly turned into laughing and singing and dancing and an experience that closely resembled my memories of elementary school, not high school. I don’t know why but I do know. You have read my stories; many of my favorite moments (aka the ones I write about) embrace a touch of silliness. When my students are feeling sleepy, we sing. When it is a holiday, we make a huge mess in our classroom and take funny pictures. When it is time to be serious and learn, we pack up our giggles and open our minds.
            Then I thought about when I was emailing Betty Halliwell from Books for Peace. I requested children’s book for my high school students. Seems odd. But, to a 13-year-old who has never seen a book filled with glossy imaginative characters and places, children’s books might be awesome. My hypothesis was correct. After receiving our second box of books, after creating a mini-library in our English room, it did not take my students long to surround the shelves. As 10 of them crowded around I Spy… I smiled knowing that they did think it was remarkable. Now, there is always a student sitting crisscross apple sauce in the corner of our book nook, gripping a book as if the dazzling pictures were coming to life.
            So, much like my fellow Peace Corps friend is making her elementary kiddos smile with songs and silliness, I feel proud knowing that I am too. My kids may not wear size 1 shoes or beginning to learn the alphabet, but they do enjoy playing. Maybe we all need to play a little more. Whoever your kids may be, get out and play. My kids may not be kids at all but they sure act like they are sometimes. I just used this quote, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Well, I am glad to say that those words do not describe my environment. 

We work together.

We jump.

We always try our best.

We read.

Happy Valentine's Day. We take funny pictures.

I walked into my classroom one day to find this. 

My Valentine's Day gift

We make our classroom a mess.

Reasons #one thousand something why I love my Valentine.

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