About Me

Friday, February 25, 2011

Goodbye, Chickadee

 Yesterday was one of my most emotional days as a teacher so far.  My absolutely favorite student (okay, okay,so I know it's not allowed, but if every teacher admitted it, they secretly have favorites) finished her last day of school. Her father is in the Army and was transferred to California. 

 Tristynn is definitely the student that I have grown the closest to this year.  Every morning as soon as she comes in the classroom, she heads straight to my desk and gives me a giant bear hug.  There have been times I have feared for my life because my air supply has been cut off.  Then she hangs up her book bag and takes out an item that the entire class has come to know and love.  Bear.  Bear is Tristynn's stuffed animal that she carries everywhere. (We're pretty sure Bear is actually a dog, but we never want to argue with Miss Tristynn.  Ha!)  Bear is a rather interesting creature, who wears infant clothes and a diaper that Tristynn has informed is "just in case".  So, Tristynn removes Bear from her book bag and brings him up to my desk every morning, claiming that Bear wants his good morning hug as well.  The classroom just isn't going to be the same without that raggedy beloved bear (dog).
I think one of the things that brought Tristynn and I so close is all the extra time we spent together.  From day one, Tristynn struggled with her letters, blends and reading.  Since she stayed everyday for after-school care, I began letting her stay in the classroom after everyone else had left for the day, and tutor her in reading.  Usually we would just read together at my desk, her sitting in my lap.  She did so much better of a job reading then, and improved dramatically.  I am proud to say that by the time she left she was doing just as well as the other students, and better than some.
 Tristynn is definitely "Little Miss Personality".  She could always tell when I was stressed or upset about something, and would either come up and give me a huge hug and tell me she loved me, or would cheese an enormous cheesy smile at me.  Occasionally, she would even make a silly face at me, which never failed to instantly change my mood.
Yesterday afternoon, before she left, Tristynn asked if we could do the "heart thing".  I got out  a red marker and drew a heart on both of our hands.  Then Tristynn took my hand, and pressed the hearts together (this is where I lost it and started bawling) and told me that now our hearts would always be together.  Pretty insightful for a 5 year old.  As she walked out of my classroom door for the last time, my little sweetie turned and blew me a goodbye kiss.

It's unfathomable to think that a little girl who was so much a part of my life will probably never see me again, or I her. I hope that I have made an impact in her life in the short time I had with her.  I often wonder, what will my students be when they grow up? What sort of people will they become?  There is so much potential in these young lives and so amazing to think of all that they will one day accomplish.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Attack of the Zhu-Zhu

The day began like most ordinary days. Just a typical Thursday. I was actually feeling pretty cute today. I've just decided to grow my hair out, and was really quite pleased with how it looked today. Haha, days like this don't come around too often. Little did I know... my impending doom awaited.

Just like when I was little, there are still the "it" toys to have and bring to school. Some things just never change. When I was little it was Beanie Babies, American Girl Dolls, yo-yo's... etc. Now all the cool toys are so much more sophisticated than anything we ever had. So, the "cool" toy to have right now in Maranatha Baptist Academy's K-5 classes is a hamster looking creature called a Zhu-Zhu pet. Thanks, China, for coming up with this wonderful gem... I owe you one.

At first glance, I too was deceived by the apparent cuteness of this toy. But don't let it's cute exterior deceive you. It's lethal! ha!

Looks harmless enough, right? But under this fuzzy exterior are little wheels. When you press his cute little pink nose, those wheels begin to spin. Does anyone know where I'm going with this? I was sitting in my chair at recess, watching the students playing in the gym, when a little girl (from the other K-5 class) came up holding her Zhu-Zhu pet Apple Cheeks (don't ask). She commenced to show me how it worked on the floor, demonstrating how it moved, stopped, turned... etc. Being the nice teacher that I am, I feigned interest. She even let it "walk" on my lap a little bit. Then, the girl disappeared from view. Moments later, I felt something on my head, and heard a sickening sound... the sound of wheels turning. Immediately, a huge chunk of my hair ( I say huge because I have very fine hair and loosing any is never good) was hopelessly twisted around one of the wheels and pain shot though my scalp. My roommate and fellow teacher instantly jumped to my aid, but it was too late...

The situation was so ridiculous, that I was half laughing, half crying as she tried to extract the vermin from my poor hair. But, it was to no avail, and eventually we decided that it must be cut out or I would be forced to go through life with a Zhu-Zhu pet attached to my head. Not the best way to attract boys probably.

So, here's the end result... the picture doesn't do it justice in the slightest, and there's a good three inches of hair wrapped around the wheel. Well, life goes on. Just beware of this toy! The irony of the whole situation is when I turned it over to take this picture, the yellow warning label says, keep away from hair! Too bad our students can't read that well yet... Haha, what an incentive to teach them to their Phonics!