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Teacher vs. Helper

It took a couple of weeks for the strike to be settled and for Mrs. Norris to return to work, but she is back and I am now back to my normal level of chaos.  Ben has settled into his norm, having his beloved Mrs. Norris to help guide him through his days.  I find it interesting that through the whole process of starting this year out with me as his classroom aide rather than Mrs. Norris, his view of academic life has changed.

This was a subtle change, one that I suppose is a good change, but one I didn’t necessarily expect.  Ben now views himself as having one teacher and one helper, rather than two teachers.  I know this because of our nightly bedtime ritual, which includes a prayer time thanking God for those with whom we spend our days. It’s common for me to guide Ben through this time so as not to forget anyone.  The standard had been, “Thank you, God, for my teachers.” but he had become insistent that he only has one teacher, Mrs. Sloan. We laughed as I asked, “What am I, chopped liver?” and he responded, “No, you’re Mommy.”  Thing is, he’s right and I could never treasure any job title more than those of “wife” and “mom”.

I thought his perspective would change once he was settled into the transition with Mrs. Norris, but it really hasn’t.  He still says, “Thank you, God, for my teacher, Mrs. Sloan,” but now he adds “and my helper, Mrs. Norris.” It kind of surprised me at first, but what a pleasant surprise that he now sees himself as not needing another teacher, but only someone who can help him and his classmates when needed.

Thank you, Mrs. Sloan and Mrs. Norris, for the ways that you love on that whole classroom of kids as you teach them and guide them through this school year.  After having spent a couple of weeks in there, I know you get just as much love right back as you give them.  Yours is a pretty special group to be among.

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