Today was such a funny day. Mostly because my students were really struggling with their D.A.R.E. essays and so I did a mini-essay on the board to show them how to answer the question and use a lead at the same time. Then somehow we went from talking to what D.A.R.E. has taught us to someone asking the questions, "When will your husband come home from Afghanistan? When will we get to meet him?" Another student added they really wanted to ask him questions about war.
"But we shouldn't ask him questions about war because Mrs. Jones might get sad and then cry," remonstrated another student.
Another student piped in, "Ya! I don't want to see Mrs. Jones cry!"
"Ya, that's so sad. I like her too much to see her cry. It makes me want to cry," another student chimed in.
"Mrs. Jones is sensitive. There's nothing wrong with that Mrs. Jones. I'm sensitive too," added, yet another student, to the discussion.
Several other students remarked thoughfully as well, but I was quietly laughing and grinning from ear-to-ear. Today I realized how much my class loves me back. It's a great feeling to feel loved back when you put so much time, effort, and money into lessons and into your classroom.
I also received such a wonderful email from a former parent. It makes me so happy to know that I made a difference in their child's life. My eyes literally welled up with tears as I read the email. All the struggles, all the screaming in my head, the gray hairs, and stress melt away when you get a note from a parent or student. It makes every little disaster feel like a learning experience instead of a catastrophe. It reminds me to continue to be dilligent, strive for perfection, be kind, be compassionate, be fair, and most importantly, be loving. This particular student taught me the importance of asking questions and using a calm voice before jumping to conclusions, like most adults do. He taught me the joy of playing jokes on parents (which he loved to do every day after school)...heheeheh... and patience. I learned a lot of patience, compassion, and unconditional love from my class last year. I know as the years progress, my students will make me a smarter, kinder, and a more wonderful person. I hope that all of my former students will always know how wonderful they are and that they too make a difference in my life. Thank you parents and students for changing my life as well.