Days come and go so quickly, lately, that I often don't get a chance to soak up the little pieces of good that flow my way. I recognize the major events. I realize the amount of stuff I cram in to one day. I know if I've done everything I should have or not. But, rarely comes a day where I can just hop through enjoying the little stuff...those small moments that make me smile.
Yesterday was one of those days. I was able to skip and jump from one little moment to the next keeping a smile permanently attached to my face. It was days like yesterday that make me realize how wonderful the bunch of kiddos in my class are, and how much I've fallen in love with each and every one of them.
It's stuff like not making it back from science lab with my reading class to discover my homeroom class are sitting at their desks reading silently, waiting for me to return. Or coming back from a meeting ten minutes late and the students working on homework or reading while they wait. Both times knowing that nobody is in there watching them. They may or may not have been aware that the teacher across the hall was listening out for them - but that wouldn't have mattered. They do it because they want to. I hate to use the word "trained", but they have adapted to my expectations enough by now to know what I expect of them when I have to step out of the room.
It's stuff like watching the kiddos work on an individual assignment, but hearing them talk to each other. They're not talking about what they're doing after school or what they want for dinner or even what they plan on doing on the weekend. Nope. They are talking about how the parts of the food web fit together. They are assisting each other. They are offering words of advice and encouragement so that they all work together, and no one appears to be more superior than the other.
It's stuff like knowing that the students most favorite time of the day is the last hour - when they get to choose what they work on. Some days there's an agenda for them to follow, other days it's a menu for them to choose from. Whichever it is, they love having that time to work on what they need to work on - homework, skills, writing, or reading. And then having the students ask me to put on "study music" so that they can focus and concentrate on doing their best work. Again, no chit chatting, no messing around - just 19 students focused on getting done what needs to be done.
There's a chemistry at work inside my classroom. Something that's hard to explain in words. Even though I've only been at this job for two months, it's amazing to see the amount of changes that have taken place inside these kids. And, I like to think that I've had a lot to do with that. Something I've said or done has caused these kids to really take control of their learning, motivate them to be the best and do their best.
There are days that go by when I wish I could just keep all of my homeroom class all day long. I really miss them when I have to rotate kids for reading and math. I'll admit, I've never been a fan of departmentalizing. I wanted to be an elementary teacher so that I could keep the same group of kids all day long and teach all of the subjects. But, I also believe that while some of my kids are gone - they miss me too. I think it's helped build them up. And if it really is the best method for their learning, who am I to be selfish?
All I know is that I have an amazing class. They will forever be engrained in to my brain. My first class. The kids that made me smile each and every day and make me realize how much of a blessed life I live. Who can complain about that?