That's what we told everyone who we saw at dinner. It was a rough day on the 4th floor. Our kids were crazy and wound up and although we all know how to handle them and keep them in line so much better from the first week, it was still exhausting and mentally taxing to stay on top of them all of the time. We had another fight (in which Emma kicked Matt) and then I had Phil whack me on the hand as he came out of the bathroom. Well, that was the last straw (we somehow had three of our four classes in the hall at the bathroom at the same time) so I left my class with Bryan and ran downstairs to get Julianna (who is the department head for elementary school). She is also an Angel sent from heaven. She came running upstairs with me, took the kids who were being crazy and dealt with them. Since we had three classes in the hall to witness this, all of the kids were much better behaved after.
Julianna came back with the kids a little while later and they apologized to me. Then, she proceeded to tell me that Phil is "not right in the head" and "cannot communicate with words" so he uses hand gestures. When he hit me, he was really trying to do a hand gesture to tell me that someone else was being bad. Well, I felt terrible about that, so I told her that I was sorry for getting him into trouble. I also had words with my head teacher, Shantel, about how it would have been nice to know that Phil is considered to be "not right in the head." (I think he may have some form of autism). The more I look at some of my other kids, the more I realize that they too could be "special" and just because they completely ignore me doesn't mean they are purposely being disobedient. So, I asked Shantel to get a list of all the kids who might be different, because having that information will definitely change the way I approach teaching and the way I deal with them.
Anyway, after that whole crazy ordeal, I only had one class to go before the end of our rough day. I end my day with my homeroom and all of the teachers can honestly say that I somehow ended up with the best homeroom in the second group. All of my kids are really smart, funny and seem to really like me. And they are good, which means that I have started having fun with them, because they know where the lines are and not to cross them. They all came piling in, stood on their line and folded their arms after each saying: "Hello, Cheltzie Teecha!" and I sat them down and we just talked. Although I didn't do half of my lesson with them; I got more language out of them then I did with half of my classes before because they all really wanted to talk to me and tell me stories and communicate with me. When it was time to go, they all gave me high-fives, and Walter stayed behind to help me stack my chairs, before saying: "Goodbye, Cheltzee Teecha!" (I can't get them to drop the teecha part, but at least they have my name down).
We also have learned that we can go downstairs in the cafeteria and say hi to our kids during lunch and dinner. I totally feel like a super star, because all of our kids start waving to us and telling us about their dinner. And they try to share with us, which is totally precious. Love it. Love them. Yesterday, as we made our rounds between their tables, and everyone kept on shouting: "Cheltzee! Cheltzee!" all's I could think about was: "I love these kids, and I love my life." And if all's I gain from my experience in China is a love for my kids, then I'm totally okay with that, because after all, the only kind of love that is worth having is the unconditional kind.
And even when my kids kick, swear and run around like crazy people in class, I still love them at the end of the day. And when I yell at them, punish them and send them to Chinese chair, they somehow still love me.