I teach 9th grade World History at my school, only one of the three classes. It's the only other thing I teach besides MUN. This is mostly because I would lose my sanity if I taught more than that.
Back to the 9th graders...they. are. awesome. When they showed up on the first day of school, there was this look of wonder and fear on their faces. I'm not making this up, I can still remember it. I think the wonder was because I'm just so loud and expressive. And I think the fear was probably because...I'm just so loud and expressive. For weeks, I could actually watch them measure me...is she cool? Is she mean? Is she crazy? Is she scary? All of these emotions would play across their facial features. I could hear their assessment in how they responded to me, how they played my games, and answered my questions. I had to push them to get involved, to participate. To laugh, to talk, to tell stories.
And then sometime in October, maybe, the scale tipped. They had decided, as a class, that I was fun and funny and worth listening too. I could feel it in they way they greeted me each morning and acknowledged me in the hallway. How they asked about my weekend and came to hug me at fellowship. How they threw me a birthday party, the first class to ever do that for me on their own accord.
I love how they laugh with me, sometimes at me, and get my jokes. They play my silly games and take care of me. They listen to my stories and laugh at all the right places. They clap for me or cheer when I make them happy. They make me feel like a rock star sometimes.
We had a game night at my house tonight. I had so much fun. Not in a "I'm-a-teacher-you're-the-student-and-I'm-trying-to-make-you-happy" sort of way. It was more like "you-guys-are-so-funny-and-can-we-hang-out-again-soon?" sort of way.
Sigh. My job makes me happy. These kids make me happy.