Today was full of all those fun, silly, cute, nice things that some teachers can only hope for.
Sunrise from this morning
I am going to miss those children…terribly.
I started the day while my teacher was in an IEP meeting. I called the role, which is always exciting because instead of saying “here” like the American punks do, they say, “Good Morning, Miss Jenkins,” in their home language. Today, I decided to teach them about my Italian grandmother and how she mights say, “Ciao!” or “Bon Giorno!” Then, we looked up where Italy is on the map. (In case you didn’t know, it’s the one in Europe that looks like a boot ;)) I love integrating inquiry!!! #teachernerd
While we were still in a worldly mood, one of our Chinese students from Canada (she is VERY worldly indeed!) sang, “O Canada” to the class. I was beaming the entire time at how cute and brave she was, also feeling reminiscent about my time learning Canada’s national anthem in high school for our choir trip to Montreal. It’s really a lovely song! She felt like a star after her round of applause and she truly deserves it, as one of our most distinguished academics in the class.
To wrap up the morning, I we read Stanley Paste! But I knew that it would be at most of their reading levels, so I chose one girl to read it aloud for me. She is one of our most accelerated students, but I have noticed her becoming bored and despondent with her work, so I wanted to boost her confidence and enthusiasm for participation a bit more. She read it beautifully, with wonderful expression! It was so fun to hear her 🙂
Then we did some portfolio work, which I find very dull but I understand (as my teacher explained to the class) that it’s important to document so that we can see how they progress. The students copied their writing assessment on nice paper, using their best handwriting and correcting any mistakes they noticed. I kept watch to make sure that they were on-task, and all of them were working very hard.
During the 7-minute run, one of my students said that he was not feeling well, so I let him stand with me. It was some really great one-on-one time where we got to talk about Harry Potter, Mac products, and spending time with out parents. He is most certainly one of my equals 🙂
I spent the rest of the morning doing Running Records for their reading, and I must admit, I am getting really good at it! I thought it was pretty tedious work, but that was back when it wasn’t so easy. Now that I have had more practice, I can pay more attention to their reading than to my accuracy, which helps me get more of a snapshot of their level. Again… #teachernerd
Since they were working so well in the morning and, “we want to make Miss Jenkins’ last few days very special so that she has wonderful memories of us,” we got to do music early. Yeehaw! I love that the special subjects allow our more developing students to shine, and one child in particular who struggles with everything else is excellent at keeping beats, so of course we let her sit in a special chair and keep the class on beat. Though the lesson was mostly about rhythm, I noticed that a lot of it was great practice for their ability to follow directions. My teacher allowed them to go and create a rhythm (using body percussion) outside so that we wouldn’t disturb other classes. Unfortunately, we had some students who did not stay in the designated area, so we had to go back inside. We sat in a circle and each child performed the pattern they created.
My teacher took it to the next level, and the next thing they had to do was to create a whole pattern with four different rhythms. One sweet but timid students looked very nervous, but my teacher explained that the only reason to be worried is if you aren’t going to follow directions. “Students who try should never worry in this classroom.” Then, she let them go and work on their patterns on their own. The students who ran away could not be trusted with that privilege, so she had them stay inside. She also invited anyone else to stay inside who felt they needed help (they created their pattern together, as a group.)
We had to cut it short for lunch, but after lunch I got a very special performance. My class sang two songs, “Just One Earth” and “Individuality.” I will tell you, it took all the strength I had not to burst into tears during “Just One Earth” because they sang it so expressively and beautifully, right to me, and it touched my heart in a way I haven’t felt in a long while. I kept thinking about how in a feew weeks, I will be a world away from them, and I am going to miss them so much, but at the same time, it’s just one earth, and we will always be connected because of my time here. I was happy that the mood changed for “Individuality” – a very upbeat song with movements and silly verses about “being me!” I was one happy teacher, with a class full of happy kids.
To finish up music, they were to create a written representation for their patterns with some kind of symbol, which will go in their portfolio. They have had practice doing this before, so it was pretty easy for them, and everyone was on task. Except for two girls, but I think I sparked a friendship out of it! I noticed that two well-behaved, quite girls were staring off into space, and it turns out that they both couldn’t think of a second part for their pattern. So, I got them sitting next to each other and collaborating! Before I knew it, they were done and proud of the finished product, while so pleased to have helped each other and completed their own work, all at the same time.
The end of the day is always a bit hectic in my classroom – they don’t clean up very cooperatively or quickly, so it’s always a struggle to get them on their mat. But I did get to sneak in two whole poems for a great book by Roald Dhal called “Songs and Verses.” He is such a brilliant, creative children’s writer, perfect for any age. I need to get my hands on a copy of that one! We ended the day with a sweet “good afternoon, Miss Jenkins” and off they went, till next time, the last time.
My teacher decided to do my final evaluation this week so that we could focus on just having quality time together next week, and I got another rave review.
“Emma, you have had such a wonderful influence on the students in Room ##. Your quiet, friendly, positive, caring nature encourages the children to be open to communicate and learn with you. Thank you for all your professional support. All the best for the future.”
I am anticipating next week with mixed feelings – so excited to spend more time with them all, yet dreading saying goodbye!
Upon reflection, the best part of my day was that it was Rose’s last day….HA! Just kidding 😉 Since it was Rose’s last day, she brought in brownies (with mini M&Ms on top) for her students, and she gave me one during lunch. And a corner piece, none-the-less! It totally made my day. Thank so much, Rose! I’m glad I got a brownie out of it, but I’m so sad it was your last day. I’ll miss my morning tea, break, and lunch buddy next week! 🙂
When I got home, I wasted no time in getting some laundry done, and with my purchase of laundry tokens, I also bought this not-so-impulsive impulse buy:
I see Whittaker’s chocolate’s Peanut Slab at the check-out of nearly every shop and I have tried to resist, though intrigued by the Golden Ticket-esque wrapper. Then, when I saw this fabulous bar reviewed over at Wayfaring Chocolate, I knew I had to buy some Whittaker’s, STAT! I mean, I have to try New Zealand chocolate while I’m in New Zealand, eh? It was a very good decision. Even as a milk chocolate bar, it had some dark, almost bitter, undertones. Das jus ma stile.
I proceeded to eat the whole bar.
Which was a very bad decision.
Big brownie with M&Ms + Whole Milk Chocolate Bar = Too Much Chocolate.
I bite my tongue! I know I just proclaimed that I am trying not to overeat, but especially at this time of the month (if you know what I mean) sometimes you need a little extra chocolate in order to nourish the soul 😉 But seriously, I didn’t have too much to enter a Fullness Level 5. And that is just one reason why I don’t count calories!
Do you agree that chocolate is necessary nourishment for the soul?