Peace has come (at least to my school)

Last year, the Russians and the Hispanics HATED each other.  I’m not exaggerating.  It was a constant feud.  We were constantly breaking up fights, mediating disagreements, and trying to tell both sides that they really were not all that different and that fighting was not the answer.  I had many a time in my classroom, talking to my classes with the tears just below the surface (and easily heard in my voice) trying to get across to them that they could NOT fight.  That they at least had to be kind to each other, even if they didn’t like each other.  We brought in interpreters, we did interventions, we did everything we could think of.  Nothing seemed to work.  Last year was a hard year.

This year, I get notes like this:
(They came in response to my demand that they could not whine about their seats any more and they had to write a note to request a change in seat, which they might not have gotten.)

From E., who’s Russian:
To: my mom [her little joke is to call me her mom sometimes]
I want to change my sit.  I want to sit next to K. because she is my best friend from Spanish girls.  can I sit next to her please.

From K., who’s Hispanic:
Dear Mrs. B, I want to change my sits because In this class, I never sit next to E. so I want to change. Bye.

From E., who’s Russian:
I want change my seat because if I don’t understand something J. can help me and he be friend. of my friend, he help me every day.  if I can’t tell teacher, I ask to J. and he help. 
(I had to heavily edit this one just so you’d understand it.  E. struggles with spelling!)

From J., who’s Hispanic:
I want the sit with E. because he is my best friend in this school and that’s why.

How could I not change their seats after reading those requests?

I am not exaggerating when I say that last year these four kids (along with many others) absolutely despised each other.  Now I see them talking and laughing in the halls.  They have fun (sometimes too much!) in my class.  I don’t know what happened.  I like to think that a little bit of it is all the talking that we did last year.  Maybe something soaked in.  Maybe their culture shock wore off.  Maybe they grew up.  I don’t know.  But this to me is an example of what heaven will be like.  The lion shall lie down with the lamb.  Praise the Lord!  Bring us peace!

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