I knew my patience would be thin today - but it wasn't fair to take my malaise and frustrations out on the kids. I must be diligent, I admonished myself. The bell rang, they traipsed in, hanging up coats, stashing lunch bags, settling in. We made it through about 20 minutes. Then - I could feel the monster welling up. Some innocent remark, or goofy behavior - one I would normally not even notice - had set me off.
"I'd better warn them" I thought.
"So guys - I'm not at my best today. Don't feel real well and am exhausted. It won't take much to send me over the edge today. I don't want that to happen so I promise to do my best to be patient, but I need you to help too. Can you do that?"
I was met with a sea of warm smiles, understanding nods, even a few giggles. "Naw - we don't need to see you go over the edge, Julie" a few joked. (Sadly they had seen it happen once or twice this year. I had regretted each time - such a relief to know they didn't hold it against me.)
They were on my side, in fact. I felt myself relax. The monster retreated. I swallowed the lump in my throat that had come out of nowhere when I realized how much they cared, how compassion came so easily, how they UNDERSTOOD.
We forged through the rest of the day - me not at my best, but gratefully calling on all the patience I could muster; my students - well... champions.
I get by with a little help from my friends. ~ The Beatles