Every morning before school starts, I post my Thrifted Teacher #OOTD on Instagram. As I was posting my picture this morning, I was feeling rather blue. I was suddenly overcome by the feeling that I could burst into tears at any moment. Was it the fact that I was frantically trying to fit as much content into my 36 minute lessons as possible, and not succeeding? Was it because I was trying to design a lesson to teach Author’s Craft to my students that only speak Arabic and Spanish? Or was it hearing my student’s voice in the hall and remembering how she came to me crying to me, in Spanish, the day before because she ‘Just wants to understand!’
In reality, I am sure it was a combination of all of these things and more. I have never been so suddenly overcome by such a strong emotion. I started my day feeling so defeated. I went through my morning routine and prepared myself for my first group of students.
My first group is in an integrated 4th grade classroom setting. As soon as I entered the room, my four students looked at me with huge smiles and glowing eyes! ‘Good morning, Mrs. Barnes!!!’ they all whispered. My mood instantly turned positive!
My students cause me to feel both sadness and joy. I cry when they struggle and I cry when they succeed. I suffer when I can’t give them everything they need and I rejoice when THEY FINALLY GET IT!!! At one point or another they have caused me to feel every single emotion! (That includes the bad ones, like…frustration, anger, disappointment…to name a few…)
Later in the morning, I picked up my four 2nd graders. Our school provides breakfast in the classroom to all students. When the students eat breakfast, they get a lemon scented hand wipe to clean up with after their meal. Earlier in the week, I had mentioned that I love how the lemon wipes smell. As I picked up the students, they handed me two pieces of loose-leaf paper, that had been neatly folded and decorated. Once the students and I had returned to the classroom, I opened their gifts. Inside were two lemon wipes.
CAN YOU STAND THE CUTENESS?!?! I seriously almost burst into tears when I saw this! I work with some of the most caring children in the world! They just want to do things to make others feel good. They just want to show their appreciation for me and what they learn in my class. They make me smile!
At the end of the day, I allow students to stay in my classroom until their bus is called. One girl that is usually very chatty was very quiet today. I have a dry-erase board in my classroom that is an easel. She was standing behind the easel, and I figured that since she was being quiet, I wouldn’t disturb her. Finally her bus was called. As she was leaving she yelled, ‘Mrs. Barnes! Don’t erase your board!’ I went to the board and I found this:
How sweet is this? I was able to spend 1:1 time with her today and we were able to really closely study and text and theme. It’s not often that she gets 1:1 time and it was nice to give her time of special attention. This is her way of thanking me. I can’t wait to thank her, tomorrow!
I would have never thought that a day that started out so gloomy, would become a day of such joy! Every day that I get to work with these remarkable students is an honor. They are our future, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of their development! ❤