Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The icing on the cake

It was my birthday yesterday. My 4th graders were whispering and scheming all morning. After lunch, I announced we would do some writers’ conferences at the back table. I called the 1st student, who came up to me and all of a sudden, covered up my eyes with her little hands while the rest of the kids moved desks and chairs and someone put a CD in the player. The song "Memory" from Cats began to play (sweet) and then I was allowed to open my eyes. They had all gathered around me in a circle, while one of the girls said a few words: “Missy, esta canción es para usted porque siempre la vamos a recordar y porque tenemos bonitos recuerdos de esta clase y porque la queremos mucho.” They were all swaying and humming to the song (this is so movie-ish, I know) and then they stopped the CD and sang Happy Birthday. Then we had cake and chips and a most delicioso flan a kid's grandmother had made.

What do I say, and how do I say what I feel about these kids? Not just because of this particular moment, but the hundreds that linger in my memory – small joys and successes, frustrations, revelations, regressions, discoveries. A colleague said “they really love you” and that means the WORLD to me. Every year, I am teacher, mother, and friend – and then I cry on the last day. I suppose everyone that teaches has a different experience. But I wish to send a message to all who teach… please listen…

Relationships matter.

1 comment:

TeacherDee said...

Relationships do matter. It's the part that makes teaching more than just a job. Good for you for getting such a sweet, sweet birthday.

I like your blog. You have a few of my most favorite books on your bookshelf--The Time Traveler's Wife being my all-time favorite.