Forgotten gifts

On Nov 4 as part of the Attitude of Gratitude 30 day blogging challenge I answered the question what is the best gift you received from a student/parent/colleague?

Just a little while ago I was going through boxes of my teaching stuff from my last job and I came across two gifts I had been given my students.  The first came from one of my eighth graders that year.  As the com arts teacher each year I had students make cards or write letters to other teachers for teacher appreciation.  This student made a card for me.  It was so sweet and unexpected.

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There was an ongoing joke between my eighth graders that year about who was my favorite student.  I really didn’t have one I loved that whole class.  There have been a few classes in my career that I really connected with more than others, this group was one of them.  But that “secret” message about favorite student made me laugh and the (mostly) correctly diagrammed sentence made me smile.  Just thinking about Tanner and his classmates makes me smile then tear up when I remember they graduate high school this year, where does the time go?

That same year another class I had connected with more than others were seniors in high school.  They surprised me with two gifts, the first was this page they made for me:

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The second was when I went to their graduation.  They had asked their 4th/5th grade teacher to speak at grad telling me they knew I’d never make it through a speech bc I’d cry too much (they’re right and she was the right choice!)  They made me cry more though, every year there is a slide show of the students at graduation.  They had put two pics of the some of them with me in the slide show, the only teacher in the show.  I still cry thinking about it.  I’ve since been invited to a baby shower, a wedding, gotten e-mails asking for help on college assignments, a phone call about a new job.  “My” kids are growing up and it’s amazing to watch.  I have been an incredibly lucky teacher!

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Act of kindness

Nov 30 Practice an act of kindness this week and blog about your experience

A few weeks ago we had our semi-annual Scholastic Book Fair at school.  Teachers nominate kids to receive a free book.  One of the fifth graders I have in IT was a student chosen.  He was having a hard time finding a book.  I’ve spent some time talking to him as he works on various projects in IT so I’ve gotten to know him some.  I pulled The Giver off the shelf and suggested it to him.  I spoke to his mom about it at conferences and she was ok with it, it’s not normally a book I would recommend to someone that age.  In our district it used to be required reading in 7th grade, it might still be I don’t know.  He’s come in to talk to me about the book every IT day.  Apparently he’s shared his excitement with the 5th grade teacher who teaches Reading (our fifth grade departmentalizes).  She came to see me to say thank you and put it in our weekly thrills.

Move forward the student asked if I had the third book in the series: The Messenger and if he could borrow it.  I began sorting through my boxes of books to find it, while I was doing so I decided it was time to clear out books again.  I bought a bag and a half of books to the 5th grade reading teacher to add to her classroom library.  I got a hug in return, and she told me she had mentioned to the asst principal that she’d love it if I were on their team next year (we’ll have five sections of 5th grade next year.) I didn’t do it for recognition, I just hate the thought of good books sitting in storage not being read.  It turned out though that that small act of kindness not only made her day but it made mine as well.

So this is my last official attitude of gratitude blogging challenge post.  I’ve really enjoyed this month.  Answering these questions has reenergized me and I didn’t expect that.  I’ll be taking one more picture of the turkey/peacock outside my door and posting it.  The kids are still asking what we’re doing next and I love that. 🙂

Inspirational Colleagues

Nov 29 We all know someone who inspires us to be better. Share that person.

Just one?  I can think of a few.

Lisa – one of the third grade teachers in my building she is determined to keep her kids active with technology since they are in strings for a special this year.  She brings her kids to my room to use the computers at least once a week.  As new programs are picked up by the district she is determined to learn them and see how she can utilize them with her students.

 

Jennifer – our music teacher, she works so hard all year long.  Every grade does a musical program at some point in the year.  She also comes in early two days a week to work with the 4th and 5th graders in Special Chorus.  She works with the strings teacher to put on a combined concert.  She just completed the Veteran’s Day program with our third grade students.  She helps them research and then write their own program so they have so much more interest and ownership in it.


Xan – the fifth grade reading teacher, she and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to getting kids to read, she just wants to put books in their hands, get them to read something, she has inspired me to get my books out of storage and keep them in my room so the kids I work with can check them out to read.

Life’s opportunities

Nov 28 Talk about 1 opportunity that you are grateful in hindsight for having passed you by.

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I can’t think of any opportunities that have passed me by.  I’ve been thinking about this for days but I just can’t come up with anything.  Maybe something will come to me as I read other’s posts.

Perfect Day

Nov 27 If you could bottle up the perfect day, what would it look like?

Oh boy let me think I think for me there would be two different perfect days: school day and non school day

School day first – Wake up, kiddo wakes up and gets dressed without any nagging, the neighbor’s alarm clock does NOT go off for an hour and a half straight (older lady hard of hearing), the drive to work does not include people who can’t figure out how to drive, all of my classes do exactly as they are asked the first time, if they’re struggling they ask for help rather than yell out the forbidden words “I can’t” recess duty is the perfect 70 degrees and sunny, there is no fighting and no injuries, the drive home is perfect, hubby’s drive home is perfect, I make dinner without having issues with the stove and without the circuit breaker tripping, it cools off enough for us to have a fire in our fireplace, then the three of us play games, read, and watch TV together before kiddo goes to get ready for bed without any nagging, we read and snuggle into our cozy bed.
Non-school day – Sleeping in without the neighbor’s alarm clock waking us up, condo is already clean so no need to do that, laundry and shopping area already done so no need to do them, we spend time relaxing watching college football (yep has to be a fall day), go to the park for a while when it warms up enough to run around, comfort food dinner: beef stew, chili, potato soup, something like that, fire in the fireplace, evening is the same as a school day.  Ahh I’m relaxed just thinking about it. 🙂

Life’s little pleasures

Nov 26 Write about any 3 small pleasures in your life/day.

Hmm not in any specific order:

  1. reading to my son at bedtime while I still can, he’s in 4th grade not sure how much longer he’s going to want Mom and Dad reading to him at bedtime.
  2. reading – anytime I can sneak in a little reading time
  3. crocheting – I love to crochet, I love finishing a project and looking at it knowing not that long ago it was a skein or several skeins of yarn. 🙂

Letting go of things

Nov 25 What would you like to let go of?

At first I couldn’t think of anything I’d like to let go of.  Then a few things came to me, the thing is I’m not comfortable talking about them.  For me talking about those things brings it up again and makes me angry which does not help me let go of them.  To let them go I need to just let them be in the past.