April 6, 2010

this easter

I am so grateful for spring this year. I am thankful for time off from school to reorganize, knit, nap, cook, and reflect. These past 6 months have shaped me and changed me for the better. It has been the most painful experience of my life, so far, and I can say without hesitation that it has been the best experience. This past Thursday was my last day teaching 5th/6th grade. I am on break, but find my mind drifting each day to my students and especially to Thursday, where all 12o students threw me a surprise going-away party. The teachers I worked with made the whole thing happen and I am truly blown away by their generosity. This weekend I spent time reading all 120 handmade cards, made by my students as well as numerous acrostic poems made of my name. I want to share one of them:

Magnificent at her work
Respectful with others
She is neat and organized

Caring and kind to her students
Outstanding teacher
Never breaks promises and is unique
Loved by millions
Everything you do is awesome
You will always be in our memories

Honestly, I do not deserve these kind words!! Thursday felt like a day out of a movie. As I sat with kids, took pictures, gave hugs, an overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over me. I felt like I was living someone else's life. For me, the entire point of teaching is for these kind of moments. I know they are rare. Often we never know if our service to others will matter. This whole, messy experience has taught me that we have to keep serving and trying, even if we feel like what we are doing is small. It is not small. This past Thursday was more than enough love and appreciation from the students to last me my entire career. If I teach another 40 years and never hear a word of thanks or appreciation from my students, I think I could live off of the amount of love and joy and thanks that were given to me this past Thursday. I am truly blessed.

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