My blogs these days seem much of a piece – all about school. But that is where my head is and where I am urging my heart to follow.
Each day brings something new, a high, a low and an in-between. A child who will smile, a child who will frown, a child who will be more stubborn than a mule. The mule I would ignore. The child stays with me even after the school day is done. What could I / should I have done differently? Why was that one child so determined to challenge authority? And why do I have to keep laying down the law? A neat, tidy, orderly and silent classroom seems so at odds with lively, squirming children!! But how lovely is the noiseless room, with minds engaged and thoughts abloom (even if they are all about getting even with the teacher!).
Singing class seems to be more about letting off steam than learning the tonic solfa and oh how they love their action songs. Even the ‘big’ girls!! When they’re happy, they really show it from the clapping, to the stomping and the screaming. Next week, I’m planning on teaching them homemade percussion: if noise appeals then why not go the whole way? (A variation on ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’!) I remember the fun we had, as children, tapping teaspoons, shaking little boxes filled with rice or hard grain and blowing through combs covered with tissue paper. If you can think up any more impromptu ‘instruments’, do let me know. (We also tapped teaspoons on the rims of glasses of water filled to different levels – when you got it right, you created the sweetest sound. But we are too many, and glass and water can be so accident prone.)
And then there’s the crochet which is more ‘is not’ than ‘is’. Teaching 60 plus students to simultaneously put hook to wool and turn out identical perfect stitches is the stuff of movies and dreams. The variations on a stitch that I encounter are more the stuff of nightmares. Perseverance is a virtue that both teacher and student need and I’m resolute, persistent, unrelenting, firm about reaching the goal!!
But there are the diversions. One student managed to get a factory wound perfect ball of wool into an even more perfect tangle. ‘Miss,’ she wailed, ‘HELP!’ I brought the yarn home and spent the best part of an hour following one end till it met the other and I had, once more, a well wound ball of yarn. It was a happy shade of yellow and while hands were busy, my mind dwelt on the weeks gone by. Sitting and untangling the thread was somehow peaceful and yes, amusing! And the student’s joyful whoop, ‘THANK YOU” was more than enough reward.
Though I am still bemused by where I find myself, I have stopped wondering about the path, no matter how tangled. Like Theseus, I hold one end of the thread in my hands, but I know that the other end is firmly in God’s clasp. And when the ends meet, I will be a perfectly wound ‘yarn’. (Pun intended!)