As my focus as of late has been on the frantic packing of my classroom, I'd like to share the two moments this afternoon that made the whole day so special (and almost made up for the desk-cleaning-out-hell of the afternoon...):
While I have many difficult students, there are two in particular who tend to take the cake when it comes to disruption. Both have really great personalities and soooo much potential, and both have come so far this year. Both also have pretty severe ADHD that makes them impulsive and at times flat out out-of-control. Anyways, today, one of the two students brought me a small gift bag when he came into the room. I opened it over lunch and found a glazed ceramic puppy. (SO not my taste, but so, so, so adorable nonetheless). When I read the card from his mother and him, I was absolutely touched to hear that the two of them had glazed it together (it looked really professional!) and fired it. This student had also scrawled a note in the card saying, "Thanks for dealing with me." While part of that note makes me sad, part of it for some reason I can't explain is very touching. I will keep my little puppy statue on my bookshelf in the room next year, and always think of the adventures with this goofy student who both drives me CRAZY and makes me laugh.
Later, during my bookshelf-wrapping mania this afternoon, my classroom phone rang. On the caller ID I saw a familiar name and number--the mother of my MOST challenging student, with whom I have spoken so many times this year I had her number memorized at one point. Let me just take a moment to sing her praises: While my phone calls and meetings with her have been difficult, as her son has brought me to tears more than once with his behavior struggles, she is one of the kindest, most supportive parents I have had the pleasure of meeting. She truly wants what's best for her son, and respects me as a professional. She is kind and easy to talk to, both taking my severe calls seriously and celebrating with me when I call for happy reasons.
Today was a happy call. She called to thank me for the patience I have shown her son this year, and to tell me what a good teacher I have been for him. We both rejoiced at the progress her son has made in the past few months, making almost a complete turn around (while he is no angel, he has come SO FAR). It meant so much to me to both hear her supportive, positive comments and to celebrate with her about her son, both of our voices so filled with pride. I know I will never forget her son and what he has taught me, but also I will never forget her. I hope that I can be a mother like that one day: one who sees the good in her child, sees his potential for greatness, and sees the other adults in his life not as competition or under scrutiny, but allies in the fight for her child's well being.
I truly teach for moments like this: moments of feeling that my time is appreciated, moments of celebrating my students' growth, and moments of just love love loving my job. These boys have just about given me gray hair this year, but I am so grateful that they were in my class, as they have taught me more than they can know.