The tears began to roll down my cheeks as I thought about how much I will miss this crazy place. I have learned SO much this year. If you think you have had an interesting first year teaching, give me a call, I've got one for the books.
It took weeks to set up the perfect classroom. With the help of J's strong arms, my Dad's creative eye and my Mom's sewing hands we created the perfect environment for learning. I wanted my classroom to be a place where these kids felt safe, where they felt at home. For my population, this is sometimes the only place they do feel safe. "Sail Away to Second Grade!" The perfect theme for a nautical gal, away from the waters of Florida. The community feeling I was going for, spot on by the first day of school.
As the year progressed my students filled their notebooks, as they filled their minds with knowledge. They filled my walls with notes, but most of all they reminded me that life isn't always going to be perfect. They taught me that people are going to let you know, but there is always a positive...always. My students and I have been through a lot together this year. Death, pain, heartache, engagements, babies, parties, birthdays, celebrations, let-downs and even a situation with a flying weave. (That was a good laugh.)
Hands down the hardest moment of my entire school year, doens't pertain to the issue of not returning next year. It was in early November, in the middle of my reading lesson. I receieved word that one my student's fathers had been murdered. The phone slipped out of my hand and my heart sunk. These are the situations they do NOT prepare you for in school. My heart broke for that sweet girl and as I sat with her at his funeral, I was reminded of why I was placed in this position. She could have been seated next to anyone in the world, but she chose me, her teacher. She wouldn't let go and as we cried together I could feel God tugging on my heart. "For I know the plans I have for you..." Because he always does. If for this school year was only to ease her pain, only to help her heal, then I have done my job.
Just one of many stories from a first year of teaching, that I will never forget. I have made friends and I'm sure a few enemies. I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. I am a strong woman, who believes in the children of our future. I believe in their learning and sometimes I believe in teaching to the children, not the test. I believe that every child can learn and I believe that everyone can teach them something. Sometimes you will come across people in life that will not agree with what you believe in. Always respect others, but know where your heart lies.
The Clarity of Silence...so the room is quiet, the walls are bare and after I'm gone the memories in this room will quickly fade. I hope and trust that I have made a big enough impact on these students that the memories we have made will not fade in their hearts. On the same hand, I hope that my love and smile has brought joy to my peers around me. Most of all, if you have made it through this whole post, I hope that you can rememeber a teacher that impacted your life. Call them, facebook, text, anything to let them know...they are awesome!
Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.