Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Tales from the classroom

Today one of my students was crying because she had a bad headache. I was asking her how I could help. First I asked if it was bad enough that we should call home and have someone pick her up. She shook her head. Then I said, "Okay, why don't you just put your head down on your desk and take it easy for a little while? You don't need to do the work the rest of us are doing." (The other children were working on writing about Black History month in their journals. We had just had a long discussion about Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the legacy they left behind.)

She still didn't seem to like this new suggestion I gave her. Then I offered her a new "St. Patrick's Day" pencil complete with dancing leprecauns. That still didn't bring a smile to her face.

Finally, I pulled open my desk drawer and found some leftover packages of cinnamon hearts that I had not completely used up on Valentine's Day . That very special day each student was treated to a colourful paper gift bag filled with cinnamon hearts, sweet tart candies and Double Bubble gum, as well as an individual Valentine card from me. These gift bags awaited them at their desks as the students entered the classroom on the morning of Feb. 14th.

So, given that I had a few bags of cinnamon hearts still left, I thought maybe a handful of Valentine hearts might cheer up this little girl and make her forget her headache.

Guess what? It worked like a charm! In two seconds flat, she was beaming from ear to ear and sucking on her candies like they were the best candies she had ever tasted. Her expression was one that said, "Headache? What headache?"

Soon enough the other students got wind of her special treat and before you knew it, I had a lineup around my desk and all the way to the classroom door. So, naturally, I had to be fair to all the kids (even though none of them had a headache as an excuse) Each one got their open palms filled with cinnamon hearts. You never saw such joy! (Well other than on Valentine's Day when I surprised them with the goodie bags on their desks).

Later on, since they were all hyped up on sugar, I took them next door to another teacher's class and then our two classes did some Zumba dancing to two songs the kids love "I am a Gummy Bear" and "Boro Boro". The last one even includes Gangnam style dancing. Once again, you never saw so much joy under one roof! We (teachers and students) were all dancing and swaying to the beat and having a rip-roaring great time. It was especially good to do this today because they didn't have gym class today. There is also the fact that the weather has forced the administration to call for indoor recesses because it is just too cold to let them go out, so, of course, the kids have been getting a little antsy from being inside all day long and not getting enough exercise.

Soon it was dismissal time, and as I surveyed the room full of smiling and laughing children, I said to my class,

"Well, one thing is for sure: it is never dull at our school!"

They all enthusiastically agreed and at least ten kids came up to me to give me a hug.

This is a typical day in my life as a teacher. Teaching may have its ups and downs, what with all the politics and the in-fighting between the union and the government (both sides are equally bad if you ask me) forced unpaid days, the list goes on and on. But, overall, I can't think of a job that I would rather do. It is so rewarding to see the smiles of gratitude on my students' faces each and every day. I truly am blessed to have such wonderful students to teach!

And who knew that cinnamon hearts can cure a headache! I'll have to tell that to my doctor the next time I see him! LOL

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