Saturday, March 12, 2011

I should have stayed in Kindergarten!

I don't know if I shared this on here or not, but I was originally hired to teach kindergarten at our school. For anyone that knows me well you would know that I went to school for elementary education with a very heavy focus on teaching middle school. I student taught in a middle school, my first teaching job in Detroit was for 6th grade, and I coached middle school cheerleading. I just love middle schoolers, so the thought of teaching kindergarten scared me...a lot! So when our principal called me in mid-July and said there was an 8th grade Language Arts position available it was a no-brainer for me, that was more my speed and a lot less scary sounding. Little did I know what I was in for when I took this position. I have more than once found myself saying, "I should have stayed in Kindergarten!"

This year the 7th and 8th grade students at our school went away to camp for a week in September. Camp Sky Y, in Prescott, AZ. It was a leadership/high adventure type camp. I was excited to go and overall it was a lot of fun, except for one first "I should have stayed in Kindergarten!" moment. One of the activities was a high ropes course. The students could choose one of 3 options. They could do a single person ropes course, a two person ropes course (which was about 15 or so feet higher than the single person course), or they could go on a huge giant swing. I thought the swing looked like great fun, even though I am deathly afraid of heights. I would love come my fear to experience that swing!

As I am standing around waiting for my turn over comes Fred (our principal) and asks if I'd gone up to do the ropes course yet. I said that I hadn't, but I was waiting my turn to do the swing. And before I knew it I was harnessed up and climbing, nervously up the pole to the two person ropes course.

I get to the top and got scared. Fred was already up there waiting for me and helped me get across the first challenge. That was when I froze. I was at a pole and hugged that pole for dear life. I couldn't even change my own harness I was so scared. The second leg of the challenge was way harder than the first and I had to do it alone. It was jumping from platform to platform, but the platforms were very small and they weren't completely stationary. I got across one, then two, then three, even four. But then the gaps between got a little bigger and I really struggled. I probably stood there a good 20 minutes afraid to move. I was in tears, my students were trying to help talk me across the last 2 platforms. Finally "E" (a student)who had my ground rope had an idea to get me across using the ground rope. He said to hold on to it and he would pull me across. So that was what I did. Seriously, if it weren't for "E" I'd probably still be up on that silly ropes course.

The last leg of the course was easy and fun. If I hadn't been so shaken from the previous part I may have enjoyed it more. And then getting down was a blast. It was like repelling down an invisible wall. Once my feet hit the ground I instantly fell and kissed the ground and said the words, "I should have stayed in Kindergarten!"

There have been a few other times those words have been uttered from my mouth this year, but they will have to wait for another time.

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