Wednesday, May 16, 2012
And a Child Shall Lead Them....
Today I was a substitute teacher at the local high school. Not knowing the class I would be subbing for before hand, I headed to my mysterious classroom. Upon arriving I was greeted by the teacher who informed me I would be spending the day with learning disabled children.
My first class consisted of 4 teenage boys. I was assigned to read to them, followed by a trip to the kitchen to make banana bread and finally to read the Washington Post on our iPads.
I was told these boys had about a 2 grade level, which immediately brought my thoughts to my own 2nd grader, Ashton. I smiled knowing how capable a 7 year old really was, they could read, comprehend, help in the kitchen, be sarcastic and funny...
...and each of those four boys were exactly that. They were thrilled to help me in the kitchen, stirring, measuring, and reading the recipe...oh yeah...and excited to help clean up! One boy was worried when I put the bread pan to far into the oven. "Mrs. Porter, I don't want you to get burned. Let's put it closer to the front."
They were listeners, learners, helpers, non-judgers and full of love...and so excited to eat our masterpiece (not one complaint).
The next class brought 2 darling down syndrome girls in, another lovely lady with cerebral palsy and a few other boys. I sat next to one of the girls with down syndrome. More hugs were given in that hour than I have received in a week. And they were not just any old "hugs." They were the type of embrace that exuded true love. They didn't know me...they didn't know my faults and my weaknesses...they just loved me.
The other girl, shared with me the complete worry she felt last week when her younger brother was injured while playing soccer. She expressed how scared she was and how much she missed him while he was in the hospital. "I just wanted to hug him. You see Mrs. Porter, I hug my brother everyday so many times. I just love him so much," she cheerfully said.
The other boys talked with each other about the simple things in life. They were kind to one another. They were helpful...quick to share.
Although they were not learning Calculus (nor would they ever), studying the periodic table, or hurrying off to band...it didn't matter.
Because they were doing what we all should truly be doing...every day of our lives...
No strings attached.
If only we adults could follow their lead.