Gems by Karla Dennis
Two weeks ago, I was introduced on this page as the Site Director. I thought today I would take the opportunity to show you what that looks like. Tiqvah is a very quiet place in the early afternoon….right up until Miss Elaine’s “INCOMING!”, as she alerts us that a school bus has pulled up. From that moment on, no two days are alike!
As the busses arrive, so do the stories. There is laughter, excited questions, and sleepy eyes. Sometimes a scowl when someone has not yet shaken off a bad day at school. The children noisily file into their classrooms or sometimes a few into my office to de-escalate or just to vent. Usually a snack is all we need to get us on track.
Once everyone has settled in, If I’m not dealing with band-aids or tears, I try to float around to see where I am needed. By doing this, I get to witness so many special moments. For instance, Igot to see about eight children finally have success in tackling Mr Tre as they played football last week. One day, I watched the young dancers show off their final move, the next week those same girls are slowing it down for their after-dance stretch and Te’Najsa asks, “Can we quiet our hearts and pray?”. At the clothing boutique last week I watched as Mr. Chad taught Corbin how to tie a tie. That same day, Gabby brought with her a list of her sibling’s sizes she had written down on a piece of notebook paper in purple crayon. I watchedher find clothes for them as well as herself. I overheard Ja’Neice encourage her best friend to “Just do it! You’ve done it before, you can do it!” during a difficult task. I heard a 1st grader exclaim to Miss Elaine ‘This chicken is so good! You’re the best cook ever!” When peeking in on the third graders, I got to hear them all recite the Bible verse of the week with pride.
One of my favorite responsibilities though is being there for the parents. Whether that is arranging a ride home for their child at the last minute, letting the parent know that their child had a great day or even discussing behavior issues and a plan of action. Tiqvah is about the whole family, not just the children we see in our classrooms. It is a partnership I value dearly. As a parent myself, I understand that sometimes it takes a village. As it says in Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” I am honored to be entrusted with these gems!