I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

our final morning message

This was the last Morning Message I wrote to my students. Instead of posting it on the easel, I included it in our First Grade Memory Book of which they all received copies. We read it together at the end of Morning Meeting and then we all looked at each other quietly for a moment or two.

Part of me wants to write about the moments afterward, while another part of me knows that I could never put it into words. They all know. So, here it is (names are edited out), our final Morning Message of First Grade ~

Dear Friends,

Today is Friday, June 13, 2008. We will go outside to watch the kickball game and go to the Talent Show!

This is the last Morning Message that I will write to you as First Graders. I have been thinking a lot about what I wanted to say on our last day of school. You may remember when I told you this before: that our community is special because of all of us. It's not just one teacher, or one kid, or two kids. It's everyone. It's the way each person shows empathy toward each other, the way we take responsibility for our own learning and for making everyone in our class feel important.

We are important.

We are important because of all of you. Remember that. On days that you feel upset or lonely or worried or angry, remember that you are so important. Remember what we learned together this year:

All our vowels are in blue -- a, e, i, o, u / Hidden Pond / Benjamin Franklin / buyers and sellers / north, east, south, west / doubles / Columbus Day / evergreen and deciduous trees / Chicken Soup with Rice / roots, stems, leaves, and seeds / beginning, middle and end / using exciting words / punctuation / The Chicken Dance / ways to make 10 (8+2 and more!) / Raise the Roof / Reston Zoo / Field Day / the Bald Eagle / Family Night

Remember [our names]. Remember [our names].

You have all learned so much this year and I am so proud of you. Please come and visit next year. I will miss you.

With so much love,
Ms. L

Now that the school year is over, I keep finding half-written posts that I wanted to put here. Over the next few weeks, I'll pull them back out and try to edit them into readable format and put them here for my own reference.

Apparently my thoughts about teaching never seem to wane. ♥

Sunday, June 8, 2008

not too shy this time...

So, I have this former student. Ryeanna. She and I have this really strong connection. First of all, we share a similar sense of humor, and second of all, she is an old soul. She just gets things in a way that some adults don't. One day, I will repost here some old writing that I've done about her and her absolute brilliance as a human being. [NOTE TO READERS: Watch for these reposts. Seriously. Ryeanna is a gift to the world.]

When she was in my class, Ryeanna used to call my cell phone number (I give families my cell number so they can get in touch with me outside of school) and sometimes she'd just call to talk to me. Even though she's no longer in my class, she still does it sometimes and I just treasure those conversations. Last summer, when Ryeanna would call, we'd talk about her little sister, Milena, because we were both hoping Milena would be in my class this year. [She is.] But I didn't get the chance to talk with Milena then because she felt too shy to talk to me.

This year, every once in a while, Milena will bring up the fact that her older sister calls me on the phone sometimes and last summer when she did it, she felt too shy to talk to me.

Well, today?

Ryeanna called. We talked for a little while and then she said, "Milena wants to talk to you," and Milena got on the phone and told me about 9485747 different things that she was thinking about and wanted to know what I was doing and what I had for dinner and was I ready for field day and did I remember the bananas (bandanas!) that we painted to wear for field day and was I bringing extra water bottles and was it my bedtime yet? ♥

Nope. Guess she's not too shy to talk to me on the phone anymore. *happy sigh*

Friday, June 6, 2008

character names...

One of my students is writing a series of stories about five penguins. There names are...

Wait for it...

Jenkins, Burry, Sako, Taylor and Kiken.

I know. Would that I could have been that clever at age six. Needless to say, my class is all about hearing stories about these penguins. *happy sigh*