that as I was laying in bed this morning at 6:00 thinking about my class (do all teacher’s do this)? I was thinking about myself as a teacher and how it’s been for me this complex year.

I was thinking about what has made me feel so filled with love and clarity for this class in particular.

I thought it might be that I’ve been at CSWS for seven years and finally my maturity as a teacher has kicked in.

I thought it might be that Autumn, who has Autism, (I think that is the first time I’ve ever written that) for the most part, has had a great school year filled with learning and possibility, pretty much for the first time. And I haven’t had to worry about her as much.

I thought it might be that my home life. I think Ally Sheedy said it best in Breakfast Club, “was unsatisfying.” And now that it’s changed and even though the hard fact that Autumn’s dad moved four hours away making me, a full-time single mom (with unfaltering support) my home life is now so calm.

And although it might be a little bit of all of these things, I truly believe that this class has taught me more about being a teacher than any class before.

I think because this year has been packed full of diverse and challenging personalities and needs, that this is what has made me learn more about myself.

I have learned from the kids with such depth and balance this year.

I have learned true patience and understanding, especially with kids who take in the world a little differently.

I have learned how to be angry and frustrated at behavior and be in the moment with them full of love, understanding and calm.

I have learned that there is so much more going on in these little genius brains than I ever thought.

I have learned that some of the most challenging personalities have so much brain power and thoughtfulness.

I have learned that sometimes we just can’t control our brains and our bodies, even though we may want to.

I have learned that it is so hard to be a parent who has to reach out and work to find so many tools for their child, that life seems almost too overwhelming.  And I’ve learned how to really feel that with them (I’m sure partially due to my own experiences this year).

I have learned that very different people can co-exist in one room and learn from each other how to be accepting and caring (this is an ongoing process of course).

I have learned that if I teach the kids how to think about their thinking and learning that it helps to make them better learners.

I have learned that you should never just assume something about someone or their actions because all actions have a precursor attached with so many complex emotions.

I have learned that I can and want to make such a difference in the kids lives, in the parents lives, in the lives of my co-teachers and really meld our brain power for good.

I have learned that really connecting with someone can take so much work and many tools but that it changes everything about your relationship.

I have learned that not everyone can speak up loud enough to be heard and I feel that I can now hear them without anything being said aloud.

I have learned that harsh words, hands and feet flying, the crashing of blocks, the over-quiet and silence, the averted gaze all have a reason behind them.  And that I probably have no idea what it is. And that I should not make assumptions on what I have just witnessed but to take the time to really understand the situation and what the root is, so that we can work on it as a class.

I have learned, by example, the power of resiliency, acceptance and forgiveness. These kids are pros at this.

I have learned that we all bring our individual “stuff” into this room, including me and that it is not what keeps us distant from one another but what brings us together.

I could go on…

I just wanted to say how much I love these kids and the true diversity of this class. And I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any different from what it has been, challenges or not.

Okay, I have to go get ready to teach, so that I’m not late…