This school year has been wild. Wild I say. There are moments when I get this tiny glimpse of the joy of life from a child’s perspective and I’m reminded that this is why I teach. There are so many grabby hands at my time and energy as a teacher, and then a student will insert a bright spot and I’m reminded why I love this calling of teaching.
Two of my 5th grade students that I had as 3rd graders came to my 3rd grade classroom to say ‘hello’ on Crazy Hair Day (Red Ribbon Week). (I had dum-dum suckers in my hair and a handmade sign that read, “Drugs are Dum Dum.”) As they were shelving books in my library, their conversation went like this:
Girl 1: “The classroom has changed a little.” (Spoken in a Japanese accent. When this student came to me in 3rd grade she didn’t speak hardly any English, and now, she’s reading at a 4th grade level. I’m so proud of the progress she’s made. She’s made it through some major hurdles in her personal life over the past few years.)
Girl 2: “It still smells like happiness and gumdrops.” (Yeah, she really said those.exact.words.) I had to write it down it was so cute and unexpected.
There are days when I wonder why I’m teaching. There are so many things required of me that I don’t necessarily care a lick about, but I have to do as a part of my professional responsibilities. Then a student will say something profound or encouraging and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, THIS is why I do it.”
My job is to provide a safe place where students love to learn. This girl’s memory of my
class made me take a deep breath and capture the feeling of satisfaction, if only for a fleeting moment. Yes, I am trying to create an environment that makes students remember something happy. She came away from her 3rd grade year feeling like she belonged. (Joy, you got all that from the happiness and gumdrops comment? Uh, yeah, I did.) You should have seen her face. Recalling that joy makes me teary as I’m writing.
Then there are moments when I’m teaching and I do… this. I literally do… this. I’m not always a happy shiny teacher. (Keeping it real.) I get frustrated, but underneath all the layers, I think my students know I really care, and I do. So here’s a little comic relief from one of my favorite principals. I do this… the quick change with a head whip… regularly. Watch on.
This one. So true. I love this.
So there you go, folks. I’m reposting these videos because all my teacher friends need a little comic relief right about now. America will be so grateful that we cared for her children on Monday, Halloween! You know the leftover candy will be eaten all the way through Friday. Oh boy, gear up my friends. Next week is going to be a LOOOONG week. Hopefully you won’t have to use Google Teacher Translate for any ‘licking other kids’ incidents.
Life in the classroom isn’t always happiness and gumdrops as we know, but when your students leave you, hopefully they’ll remember that you cared because I know you do. The caring is the gumdrops. You’re all full of gumdrops.
Until next Friday. Love you loves.
Gastric Bypass Update:
I walked enjoyed my walk today.