March 2020 started off like every other month of me teaching. I always come 30 minutes earlier than the kids to prepare for the day. I wasn’t watching tv and still don’t watch the television as much. But I had to start because I had a classroom full of inquisitive eight and nine years old who trusted me with their hearts. They assumed I had all the answers to everything.
I greeted them as I normally did and when they sat down for morning meeting the hands began to raise. They asked if they could talk about something that was bothering them. I obliged and then the conversation began………
But before we get to the conversation that led up to me lying in March we will have to talk about how I just finally had their minds at peace about the horrific death of Kobe and Gigi Bryant.
I am in the middle of teaching Eureka Math and I hear a voice scream out to me “hey Ms. Lambert do you know Kobe and his daughter were killed in a plane crash.” I didn’t stop at that moment because I was in the middle of a math problem however I realized it needed to be address. Math had left their minds and answers to the situation at hand was needed. They waited patiently for me to finish the problems about area and get to more important things like their questions.
Because I am a teacher it is not my job to bring up things outside of the classroom, however once the subject comes up I make it my business to turn it into a teachable moment.
Often in life we forget that children have feelings and voices too. We try to silence them with our opinions and negate what they have to say but I LISTENED and I HEARD them.
Death in any form is hard for people. But, think about a child who doesn’t quite understand the whole process of it all and rely on you to help them understand. I am their teacher who they think knows it all or is willing to find out for them. They didn’t understand why life could be taken away so quickly. As best as I could I answered all their questions and eased their minds as most begin to say “I will never get on an airplane because I don’t want to die like they did.” Impressionable minds deserve honest answers.
Then here comes Covid-19 invoking the same fear again! Everyone who coughed or sneezed were accused of trying to kill them.
So back to March and the moment I lied to my kids. After morning greetings I have the same kid who brought up the Kobe misfortune say “Ms. Lambert we need to talk.” I remember last time he said this I had a lot of explaining to do to 25 wondering minds.
This time his fear was something I knew very little about and I assured him and the class it would be perfectly fine. I LIED!
This virus changed their eight and nine years old lives. Well the lie began like this…….Ms. Lambert have you been watching the news. I told them the truth and said no I haven’t my only source of information came from social media so I didn’t know what was factual and what was a lie.
So I turned on the news so that I could reassure them that everything would be alright. Maybe the earliest part of March we were again having math because that was taught during the first part of the day. This is also the part of the day were most of my scholars was the most alert so they always had many questions and didn’t stop asking until they got answers.
This particular day the young man said it’s in China right now so it’s not in our country so we are good right Ms. Lambert and I assured him that we were. He came back a few days later with some other scholars and said Ms. Lambert it’s in New York now. I’ve been to New York my aunt lives there and that was a long car ride but short plane ride so we are still good right. I agreed again. He came in a few days letter and said Ms. Lambert I think it spreading and it’s coming closer. It’s in Ohio now and jumped up to look at the map on the wall and said that is very close now.
“You do know Ohio is right next to Michigan?” He said. I said yes and then he asked me was he going to catch it and die. My heart broke because I realized that I had lied to these children when I told them this virus would not change anything.
In their eyes I knew it all and would always tell them the truth. But, I couldn’t fix this for them. I spent the next week or so reassuring them that life would be the same and inside I didn’t have a clue what would take place over the next few months. On March 12, 2020 was the last day I saw most of the 25 little people’s faces. I hugged them as many scurried off to the buses and I walked the others outside to wait for parents and siblings to pick them. They still had questions but I had no answers.
Our daily routine had turned into homework packets, online classes and weekly Zoom calls. Because all didn’t have access to the internet I didn’t see or hear from many of them anymore. I lied and said everything would be the same but life from that moment will never return to how it was before March 12th. If truth be told I lied because I didn’t have access to the truth.
“I guess sometimes you have to lie to find the truth.” ― Scott Westerfield
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
― Samuel Johnson
Humans are creatures of habits so without even thinking we inadvertently do the same thing day in and day out. Even though sometimes it is not a bad thing we often fall prey to repeated patterns of living. Where is the fun in all of that?
Habits come in different ways. Some habits are great and some if we are honest will have us looking around to see if anyone was looking at us.
We have the habits that are linked to the very being of who we are daily. Like school, running a household, work, rest and personal hygiene (hopefully). Those are some of the habits that make us who we are daily.
I have developed the same routine over the last few month that require me to get up and condition myself to do the same thing everyday. I get up a bit after 3 am everyday and drink a half of a bottle of ice water. I shower and then prepare myself for prayer. I go to work at the same time everyday. I take the same route and if I go a different route in my mind I’m thinking constantly I should have gone the other way. I eat the same breakfast just about everyday at the same time. I look at my social media at the same time each day and this is where I go the step further to say GIRL your life is predictable and boring.
At this moment I asked myself are those healthy habits or unhealthy habits. We have limited ourselves to just one way of doing things and that keeps us from being spontaneous sometimes. Don’t get me wrong all habits are not bad but most of our patterns of living is limiting our ability to grow and go to the next level.
“Harassment is one of puberty’s darkest, most unreported rites of passage.”
We live in a world that puberty is the age when the world thinks its okay for a child to make adult decision or be looked upon as an adult….
Puberty is not permission….
To take advantage of
To be released into a cruel world alone
To be left to your own decision making
Working with children I see and hear far too much when children are crossing over into a realm they have never experienced before. Children need the talk and guidance before they get to puberty when their hormones are their go to for emotional and physical understanding.
Decision making is hard enough as an adult but can you imagine how it was when you were a child. What happened when someone left you to figure things out for yourself?
Watching the news and being on social media it is disheartening to see how many young people we are losing because of violence perpetrated towards them or them doing to someone else because no one took the time to explain this new moment in life to them.
Puberty is not permission for a child to become prey like they are animals. Puberty is not permission for you to use your sexuality to gain what you want because no one taught you different. Time to teach what puberty is again…….
“Imperfection inspires invention, imagination, creativity. It stimulates. The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.”
― Jhumpa Lahiri
We look to be perfect in everything we do but only because we take a measuring stick and compare it with others.
The moment you stop comparing, you will see how you can take your imperfect moments and turn them into a moment of reflection, correction and redirection.
I call myself a creative imperfect clothes designer. When I get in front of my machine my imagination will just go wild. The moment that I get stuck trying to create I decide to open up YouTube to find a video that will give me the boost I need to get me back on track.
I like to do things quickly so I will find the quickest video that can give me some ideas because if it is over 7 to 10 minutes they will lose me. After studying this video over and over again I turn it off and tell myself you got this. After spending 4 hours some times trying to create what they did in 10 minutes give or take some time because they fast forward the video I look at the end results and get frustrated.
“The eye always fills in the imperfections.”
― Rabih Alameddine
I know I am not alone when I say what the heck did I just do as I beat myself up with words because I just created the perfect MESS! However, after I reflect, correct and redirect my whole purpose of why I started I tell myself stop comparing and be an original. We have to have an example to follow but never use the example as the measuring tool of perfection.
My best work comes after my imperfect moments. The art of being perfect is to stop trying to be something you will never be. Accept the imperfections and grow from them.