As you may have read already, my Rooster boy left for basic training on Monday.
I returned to school on Tuesday, and my nerves, to say the least, were on edge. Tears poured forth at the beginning of my first two classes as my students asked me how I was doing. All year, I’d shared with them Rooster’s looming plans, and they knew the reason why they’d had a sub the day before.
When my sixth period class arrived, one of my girls handed me a piece of paper…
At first, I thought she was simply showing me one of her incredible pieces of art. She’s very gifted, as you can see, and I’ve had the pleasure of looking at her work all year.
When I tried to return it to her, she told me that it was mine to keep.
I don’t know if you can see the details, but she created the entire drawing by writing out the words, “The boy who lived” over and over and over.
It truly is creative and something I’ve never seen before.
She told me that she was giving it to me because she knew how upset I was about my son leaving, and she also knew how much I love Harry Potter.
In case you’re new to my blog, you might not know that I teach Intensive Reading (a remedial class) to high school students…mainly tenth graders. Behavior and attendance are huge issues that I face daily. Building relationships is KEY to classroom management and teaching the standards.
Sometimes, it takes all year to establish relationships. Sometimes, these things happen quickly. Every year is different; no two classes progress at the same rate.
It’s usually between January and February when I start seeing maturity in my kiddos. This year, it’s taken a bit longer. For some reason, they thought getting “turnt” in the middle of the week or any other random day was okay…even with testing around the corner.
Yet, with the bittersweet moments of my sweet boy leaving home, and my very openness of my love for him and sadness, my students have really blossomed.
This week, they extended arms of love and support as I worked hard to stay professional so we could finish strong before they test next week.
This student’s gift…so personal and one truly from her soul…solidifies what I’d been feeling from the beginning of the school year. The groups of students I’m teaching this year are extraordinary. Yes, I know that they are every year, but I’ve made stronger connections with these kids. Last year was a big struggle; the kids in one class never completely fell into a compliant state of being.
I know that this year, when my kids leave, I will really miss them.
These teens have been through a lot in their young lives, and they used their own experiences to forge even stronger bonds with me.
I am so blessed…a feeling I share with them nearly every day. Truly, I am blessed.