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March 6, 2013

I Am Spiderman

by carrollministry

Elyse in Elementaryland

So I think I must have died and gone to heaven because the past couple days I have literally been in pure joy and utter happiness. There are a lot of factors playing a part in this happiness… first of all, the road trip getting here. It is a very long drive to Kansas City but we have an amazing group of kids (or uh, young adults) which made for a very entertaining trip. We even had walkie-talkies to communicate between cars so that helped with the team bonding process. Secondly, actually getting here of course. I got to come on the Kansas City trip last year too so I was really looking forward to returning and continuing the friendships I had started. The minute we pulled up to the Xavier House (the sister’s house where we would be staying), I immediately thanked God for giving me the opportunity to return this year. Upon entering the house I just felt this overwhelming sense of comfort—a feeling one would get after returning home at the end of the day. It was good to be back☺

My happiness only continued when Monday came. Last year I got to help out at Cristo Rey High School, which was an amazing experience, but this year I was placed at the Diocesan Catholic School, Resurrection. Resurrection is a private PreK-8th grade inner city school in a Hispanic community. As I said, I had a great time at Cristo Rey, but being an elementary education major, I was slightly more than extremely excited to be placed at Resurrection. Not to mention, I was placed here with Emma and David, two of the most energetic, flamboyant individuals you will ever meet. Emma is always up for an adventure and David is an education major as well so it was cool to have other people share in my excitement.

It is now Tuesday so I wanted to share a little of what my experience has been like so far. I spend the first bit of the morning in a 1st grade classroom. The whole school starts the day off in the pledge of allegiance, the reading of that day’s gospel, and morning prayer. The 1st graders then proceed to have some silent reading time before they begin with calendar and weather. Today I got to have a small group read to me and we discussed the book together. In this small group, I had to ask one of the students to share her book with another little girl who didn’t have hers. After we were done reading and discussing, the little girl who didn’t have her book came up to me and apologized for not having it. She explained to me that the reason why she didn’t have it was because her house had been broken into over the weekend and everything was misplaced. This really took me aback and I had to think for a minute before I said anything. I do not tell you this to say that this community is bad or dangerous necessarily but to just illustrate that this is the reality here. It’s thought provoking to hear what is going on in other areas and eye opening to see how those occurrences affect people’s day to day lives.

At 9 o’clock, I head over to the Kindergarten class. Let me just say…holy bologna are these kids adorable… To illustrate this for you- I was helping one little boy with his worksheet and after we finished the problem, I asked him to tell me his name again. “Ezekiel. But, that’s not really my name.” I asked him what it really was then. His face immediately went from a big baby-tooth smile to a straight serious face. “I am Spiderman. I was bit by a red and blue spider.” I am a believer in Spiderman so I wasn’t about to question him. So instead I responded, “Spiderman, it is an honor to finally meet you; I’m a huge fan. Especially of your ability to shoot webs.” And then we both did the “Kt-ss, Kt-ss” sound and did the hand motion that Spiderman does to shoot webs. Now every time we see each other in the hallway we do this instead of waving.
Then there is Julio who is that kid who seems to always be off task… I feel bad because I seem to be exacerbating that problem… He gets up to give me a new picture probably every 10 minutes… I had a talk with him today and we agreed that he could only draw me pictures after all his work was done. Even still though, I’m pretty sure I will be able to cover my whole entire wall with pictures when I get back to my dorm room.
I wish I could tell you about every single kid in that class…they are all so great…they make me feel like a celebrity! When I come in the room they get all excited and yell, “Yay Elyse is here!” and then when I leave I get the world’s biggest group hug. It makes me smile that I am someone they can look up to- yes, literally, but also in the sense that I can be a positive role model in their lives.
I have so many more stories but this is already quite the lengthy blog so high-five for reading it!! I will write more later if I am allowed to 😉
Until next time,

God bless,
Elyse =]

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