All week! I taught all week! Finally, finally in BC, we are back in our classrooms! When news that we had ratified the contract that took many months to get (more than 5 weeks of it on a picket line) I issued this warning:
— Carrie Gelson (@CarrieGelson) September 19, 2014
So this week, my celebration post is all about all of it! All of the moments, all of the mumbles, all of the whispers and all of the shouts. The learning, the hugs, the love and the routines.
Please bear with me. I took a lot of photos. I scribbled little things on papers. I collected moments of magic. I even smiled through the testing of limits, the pushing of boundaries and the natural frustration that came with being back in school all day after not being there for 13 weeks. All of it was part of what we do. And I am just so ecstatic to be doing it. Good, bad, trying, joyous . . . I will take it all.
I loved these first “step back into the classroom” smiles.
I loved reading aloud to a group of students again. All of the predictions and questions and oohs and ahhs.
How about this? One student had a first day gift for the class – of course, a book 🙂 Part of a beloved series that we didn’t have yet.
The books that I couldn’t wait to share, were oh so happy to be shared.
And of course, old favourites were instantly grabbed from the shelves. What would we do without Elephant and Piggie?
Math everyday has been all about engaged and proud and busy. Everyone supporting each other. The students I had last year have retained concepts and most importantly, confidence!
I still get to work with the amazing Miriam which is celebration enough. That she shares the gift of yoga with us everyday means daily doses of wonderful.
We had lots of special visits this week. One from a boy who had been in our room for almost two years and had moved suddenly last March. His visit allowed us all to say both hello again and then goodbye.
We also had a visit from a Mobile Dairy unit that included a four year old female cow and a 2 week old baby. Little Tulip (pictured below) was a wonder for many children who have never seen a farm animal. How I love watching the children experience things for the first time!
Of course a cow and a calf on the school grounds is a sight to see. One neighbour riding by with his toddler popped in to check things out. They had visited us many times on the picket line. It was a special feeling to share a learning experience on the school grounds together. All of us doing what we should be and school being the center of community. We found these guests seats in the middle of our “outdoor” school experience.
So much to celebrate. Much that amused and delighted and a few things that brought me to tears. Often I just stopped by the classroom window to take in the view. How I have missed this perspective on the world.
A few of the words shared:
“I would like to stay in this classroom until I am maybe 95.”
“_______’s Mom says you are a great teacher. You are right?”
“I know what’s different in the room! I especially noticed J’s haircut. Maybe my Dad should get his hair like that.”
“I am so grateful school is really back again.”
With all of the excitement I also have to acknowledge the bittersweet. Four of my students moved on to new classes and after teaching all of them for two years, there is a lot of missing mixed up with the pride I feel in seeing them settle into a new classroom. One child in particular has needed a little extra support with the transition. As much for the adults as for him – it has been about gently helping to settle everyone and allowing acceptance and a developing understanding of how to best support him in a new setting. He and I shared one very important moment this week. It captured how our relationship has grown to a place of respect and trust. Sometimes a few words say everything. In the lunchroom one day I told him that I knew it was a lot to get used to in a new room and that I really missed him.
“I know that Ms. Gelson. I know it for sure.”
I know I have so much ahead with all of my students this year. But those few words have already been the biggest gift.
I celebrate such a beautiful week.
Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community.