Living One Day at a Time – A Lesson from the FKP Kids

Kids kids kids kids kids

I am surrounded by them; I teach them, I play with them, I eat with them, I discipline them… I even dream of them. It’s kinda scary, in a good way. There was one night where I dreamt of working in the school, surrounded and overwhelmed by dozens of screaming, crying, laughing, peeing children. It was so real and I woke up feeling like I’ve already worked an entire day. That was not the best night.

Neither was the first week of work. I was constantly anxious and thinking about work. It wasn’t that there was a lot to do, it was more that there was a lot to take in and adapt. My brain could not cope and I tried (unsuccessfully) meditating these endless worrying away.

A couple of “What on earth did I get myself into?” and “How did I end up in education?” goes through my mind almost on a daily basis. I did not see this coming. I’m kinda like this girl in the picture, hair all messy from everything, like what the heck… What is this???

It’s been about a week and a half now, and I’ve had about three meltdowns thus far. All of them the result of being completely overwhelmed, discouraged and doubtful. I was overwhelmed by everything new; discouraged at the mistakes I was making, knowing well how inadequate and inexperienced I am as a teacher, having a hard time extending grace to myself; and doubtful as to whether I’d last a whole year. And I was hoping to stay for longer.

There are good days and really horrible days – days where I want to crawl under a desk and hide, but can’t because I’m the teacher (lol).

However, after almost two weeks, I’m beginning to see the beauty of this work and understand a valuable lesson taught by the kids themselves.

I realised that no matter how bad a day gets, it ends right there at 5:30pm when I clock out. Well, it can end right there if I choose to do so (and it’s an active choosing). Most times, I chose to let it linger on for the rest of the evening without even realising it. Thankfully I’ll sleep it off and wake up refreshed the next day.

And that’s the beauty of working with children. The wonderful thing about kids is that they don’t hold grudges, or stay upset or mad for long; some of them don’t even remember what they had for breakfast that day. No matter how bad it gets that day, it doesn’t affect the next. They don’t remember your mistakes of yesterday; they don’t remember that you made them cry, or that you raised your voice a little bit more than usual because you were pissed, or that you had absolutely no clue as to what was going to happen in class that day. They move on, they forget, they start each day afresh and happy.

I notice it in their play times too. Two boys would be fighting in one moment, and the next, playing together as though they never fought.

They live a simple life, they live in a simple world.

We adults are more complicated… or rather, unnecessarily complicated (sometimes). We don’t let go of things that easy. Our yesterdays very much affect our todays and tomorrows. We remember the wrong done to us and are pretty convinced that our colleagues are still holding past wrongs against us too (like that one time you accidentally ate your colleague’s apple pie thinking it was bought to share).

It just snowballs.

For that, I am thankful. Thankful that my greatest challenge and worry now is making sure the kids clean up their toys during ‘Clean Up Time’, and not about whether they’ll still retain some ounce of respect towards me because I’m being a clueless teacher right now. They come up and give you hugs and kisses even though you gave them a time-out just an hour ago. They don’t remember much. Even if they do, they forgive, they let go, they move forward.

Instead of wallowing in defeat, beating myself up about my weaknesses, I can choose to let them go and move forward. Just like the children. If they’re not holding on to these things, why should I?

This is a paper turkey I made in prep for Thanksgiving this Thursday. I glued the tail feathers wrong and decided it looked like Einstein. Making the best of my mistakes one turkey at a time~

“You just gotta have fun with it, if you do you’re already doing something right.” – Dr Osterman

That’s my principal and boss by the way. He’s pretty awesome!

There’s a lot more grace in this work than I dare receive.

Fear, condemnation, unforgiveness keep me from receiving grace. It keeps me from extending grace as well. It keeps us from moving forward.

And that’s what I’m learning to do right now, live one day at a time and have fun with it.

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