I almost forgot to write a blog post. Summer school started on Tuesday and I am getting back into the swing of getting up early(ish) and going to school. Though it is not as early, and not my school. Everything is different for me for the summer program. But it is definitely interesting.
I am one of 3 classroom paras in a program at the middle school. I have never met any of the kids before, or the other staff members I am working with, I can't even easily find my way around the school because it's not my school. Everything is new. And in some ways it's not new at all. Tuesday was the first day of school. And I had the usual first day of school nerves. One of the kids, the one I was supposed to work with first, didn't come in that day. So I had to wait to meet them. It was stressful to know I would have a second first day of school. But I met the other student I will be working with (one of the paras and I will switch back and forth I guess) and that was a nice experience. It has been a long time since I have hung around someone with similar needs to Travis. And a similar amount of pure joy!
Wednesday was the second first day of school, and my student was coming in! And boy were they excited to be back at school! I was again a little bit nervous, since meeting a new kid is always a bit tricky. But this student was excellent for me. Very excited and enthusiastic. No words, but I am actually trained in non-verbal communication. I have never been so grateful to have that!
Yesterday was not as easy as Wednesday. My student was tired, but we all were. There were some pretty wild thunderstorms Wednesday night that kept everyone awake, or kept waking us up. My kid was definitely having a rough day. But I rolled with all of it. I also showed that I am fair but firm. And I got a really good response (after a bit of whining and almost tears). I think things will be a bit easier now. The first time you have to show a kid you aren't a pushover is tough.
So the first of our 5 weeks is done already, the students are great, the staff is great, and so far I am really glad that I decided to work over the summer. I may not be mentally doing as well at the end, it is definitely different to the work I have been doing, but I finally feel that my skills are being utilized. And so far, I love it.In completely different news, while I was painting some dolls for orders I decided to take another crack at an Ellie head. I was super careful where I put every speck of paint. I managed to make her firm, sort of scowling mouth, look a lot softer. I also redid her eyebrows a couple of times to make them a lot friendlier. I am really pleased with how this face came out. And extremely happy to know it's possible to make her look less cranky.
So school started and sort of already feels like it's almost done. I set a pretty lofty goal for helping one of the kids learn something pretty essential. I am sure I can teach it (I have taught it). I am not sure I can teach it in the 4 weeks I have left. But maybe I can make a bit of progress. We'll see. I have managed to get a bit of doll work done this week, though more would have been preferable. But there is always next week.