Tuesday, March 30, 2010

i really love him

everyday for a couple weeks, luis fernando has been coming to school.. and every day at some unpredictable moment he would snap. after the snap he spirals into a rage he doesn't seem to be able to control. this takes on many forms- attacking other students, throwing chairs, hitting, etc. i can't accurately describe what his face morphs into or the way his heart races and whole body shakes.

we don't have a principal or counselor.. or really anywhere i can send him, so helping him through this is my job. i carry him to the office or porch while he fights to escape with every ounce of strength he has. i remind him over and over how we can count and breathe when we are angry. it is ok that he is angry but let's try to breathe. breathe. breathe.. as calmly as possible, i remind him that we are friends and i can let go when he is tranquillo and we can talk about it. sometimes he calms down eventually, sometimes odilsia has to come talk to him, and sometimes it just won't stop.

what hurts me more than anything is that i know he is confused and hurting. i can take him hitting, biting, kicking, pinching, and cussing at me all day; i know it's not me he's really upset with. oh but it breaks me to hear about his mother wanting him, not wanting him, taking him back, giving him to one of her friends.. and then to talk to the woman he stays with now (he calls her "grandma" but she's a friend of his mom) and hear her say "oh yeah, his mom doesn't want him. he misbehaved. she doesn't want him.." in front of him. ugh. he's told me himself that his mom doesn't want him.

one day he was in a pretty bad rage (i guess that's what i would call these fits..?) and i'd been sitting with him in the office, arms wrapped around him to keep him from hitting me or running out.. for literally like 15 minutes. at this point, no one has been in my classroom (which pretty much means utter chaos in there) and luis and i were both dripping in sweat. i asked him if i let him go, what his plan was. where would he go?

then i tried it. let him go.. and he walked right to the front gate. "ok i can't let you leave.." and i carried him back to the office. he wasn't going to stop. there was nothing in him that would stop. my class is screaming down the hall, kids are yelling "profe!" every two seconds, i hear people crying, luis is shaking and trying to pry my arms apart, i can't ask for anyone to help and no one but odilsia is in the building.. and i really let him go.

i even opened the gate for him.. and he left. walked by himself in the rain.

of course i stood there sobbing until odilsia ran to calm my class down and told me i had to stop crying. ok. back to class..

after school, i went straight to luis' house to talk to his "grandma," explain to her what happened, and make sure he knew i love him and was not mad. grandma said he wasn't going to public school that afternoon (perfect..) so i asked if he could come with me for an hour or so. yes.

we made necklaces, watched michael jackson videos (we share a love for good ol' mj), read books, ate apples, played with my camera, and laughed. oh my gosh it was so refreshing to hear his little laugh again and watch him sing/dance.

you know who that is.. (photo by luis)

one of my favorite smiles on the planet

such a funny kid.. loco

i am so incredibly thankful for that afternoon. that hour. his shrieks of laughter. his playfulness. his love. please, please be praying for luis fernando. please pray for his family. pray that he knows and understands God's love at such a young age. pray that the Lord is where he finds stability, peace, and love.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

kids + numbers

i feel like i write about a lot of random things on here and forget to talk about where i am most of the day: escuela. my kids are awesome and they are all slightly (ok, some are VERY) crazy in their own ways.. i won't lie- at the end of everyday i am exhausted. i mean exhausted. i have always been someone who can run on very little sleep and go, go, go but i have never experienced exhaustion like this.. ok, that's for another day, another conversation. what i am actually trying to get to is that my crazies are LEARNING. they really, really are. i am so incredibly proud of them.

in math we have been moving towards adding. YES. adding. before you can do the whole
thing, you have to understand 1 to 1 ratios, be able to count objects, recognize numbers, understand a number represents an amount, etc. before jumping into setting up addition problems, we did some prep work.. they worked in teams to put the right amount of dots with the correct number.. aaand they rocked it.

"check us out.. all done!"

this video is just a little bit of the kids in action. ok, ignore the smack in the middle of it (told you.. they can be a little feisty) and listen to their problem solving smartness. OH and teamwork (minus the smack).

we've started written addition problems and they are learning so fast.. my guess is that they'll be doing statistics by the end of this year.. maybe a little trig, who knows? :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

makarios olympics!

this past monday was the DR's independence day (feb 27th) observed, which means no school! for the day, erika and chris decided to go all out planning an amazing "bonding day".. "staff development" if you will. what did that mean?

makarios winter olympics!

we started the morning with some worship songs led by our very own jody chance and revealed our decisions about what we are doing next year (who is staying/going after august- more on that soon..). THEN we drew names for teams, made our team names, made our flags, and.. let the games begin!


meet TEAM COLMADO. (yeah that's right.. and you should have seen our flag and mascott..)

lauren trying to stick her winter picture on the olypmic rings

three-legged egg carrying race = hard!

haha we really tried so hard!

chris and erika planned all sorts of incredible games..
  • pin the winter object on the olympic rings
  • 3-legged egg race
  • pictionary
  • winter grams (think word making race with banana grams pieces)
  • limbo
  • singing bee (finish the lyrics)
  • water balloon distance throwing contest

end of the day with our PRIZES

so who won??
ok the way the points worked out the last event (water balloon chunking) would determine who the overall winner would be. team jehovia won that one so they had more points total.

..so maybe team colmado lost the last event which technically means that our overall point score was lower BUT out of the 7 events we TIED one AND won 4/7.. if you want to look at it by number of events won, i guess you might have to go with the colmadoians.. :)

maybe i am just a liiiiitle bit competitive. just a little.

well played, everyone. well played.