Wednesday, June 10, 2009

At this very moment...

...four girls are playing a game of Candyland.

...Twin Boy is making an AB pattern with counting bears.

...two boys are playing with Bristle Blocks.

...David and a friend are playing with dominoes and counting bears, using a ruler as a diving board for the bears, who are jumping into a domino pool.

...a table full of babies are all making a card for J.K.'s momma, who is having a birthday today.

...two boys are playing with Tinker Toys.

...D.B. and another boy are playing with a phonics game, and I swear I saw D.B. talk!!! (This one is my favorite observation!)

Ok, ok, I know I'm supposed to be packing up my room, which is why the babies are doing centers, but I'm sitting here unable to stop watching my babies. MY babies. I'm so, so sad that this is my last day with them. I can't believe how much they've grown and matured in the last 10 months. It makes me so proud to see where they are now. Just the fact that they can quietly do centers, on their own, while I sit here and type, is amazing. There's no fighting, no yelling, nobody asking me "how do I do this?" etc. They have become the independent little buggers I've trained them to be all year.

I had actually intended to post about this a while ago. There have been several incidents over the past few weeks that made me step back and really look at how far the babies have come this year. I've always thought I had the best class in the school (which is what I say every year, but this year I REALLY mean it!!) and most of the staff would agree with me. I realize I sound like I'm tooting my own horn here, but I'm sorry, it's true. It's not like I have super powers or anything. It's called discipline, people!! (That was directed at the staff of the Hell-Hole, NOT my Bloggy Buddies, of course!) Ok, before I start getting up on my soapbox, I'd better move on...

I couple of weeks ago, I had an old friend visit, with a colleague of hers from the university where they both work. The ladies came to my room around 8:30, and we were still chatting away when my babies walked in at 9. Although I greeting them, and kept an eye on them, I didn't really interact that much with them. They went about their business, following the morning routine, just like they had for 160 days already. Chairs were taken down, book boxes placed on the tables, babies silently reading, etc. As I chatted with my visitors, I noticed that my friend's friend kept looking around the room and watching my babies as we talked. After about 10 minutes she said to me, "Are they ALWAYS this good?!" She was simply amazed at how "well trained" they were, how well behaved they were, and how they followed our routine without any prompting from me. As she was talking, I realized, "Hey, yeah, they really ARE wonderful at this, aren't they?" I guess I just took it for granted, since that's what they're supposed to do.

When the "pledge bell" rang, they continued to follow the routine - books back in the boxes, captains put the boxes away, stand up, push in your chair, get ready to say the pledge. My friends followed the babies' lead, and did all the opening exercises with them. It was a very proud moment for this Mother Hen!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had to step out of the room numerous times to speak to another teacher, or run to the office, whatever. I am perfectly comfortable leaving my babies for a few minutes, without worrying that something will happen. On a few occasions, someone has walked in looking for me, only to find my babies quietly doing whatever task I left them to do. More than one of those people came to find me specifically to tell me how impressed they were with my babies. All of them said they assumed I was in the room somewhere because the babies were so good. Talk about a feather in my cap!! Most of the time, when I walk back in, they are all on task, quietly doing whatever it is I asked them to do before I walked out. It seriously makes me want to shout out, "I LOVE YOU GUYS!" every time it happens. (They are always rewarded with "table points" on our chart, sometimes several points per table.)

Anyway, I just wanted to brag about my babies for a minute, and say how very, very, VERY much I'm going to miss them. I suppose I should get back to work now, huh? sigh...


Anonymous said...

I just hate it when you guys are quiting for the summer. I still have 40 DAYS to go..... I'm going to miss mine too. They get the grade level award from all the specials a lot because their behavior is so good. The other lame kindergarten teachers say, "Well, it must be that you just had a GOOD bunch of kids..." Yeah, and I'm a good teacher too. Last day, huh, well have a good break.

Anonymous said...

Awwwww.... That must feel so good and so sad all at the same time. Good for you for being such a wonderful teacher. What a gift you've given these kids.

By the way, I've been listening to a program on NPR about one of the high schools in Englewood and how they kick out students because even at 17 they wouldn't be able to graduate high school by 21. Let's was at SECOND grade reading level.

I know you work in this area, and you really are a gift to the kids who live in the neighborhood. Good teachers help give these kids confidence and a chance. And that you have them so young and able to shape them must feel really good.

karengberger said...

It has to be very hard to say "goodbye" to those babies who you have nurtured all year, watching them grow and getting them ready for their next step. It sounds as if you are a wonderful teacher and have helped them enormously, as well as loved and enjoyed them. I'm already looking forward to your next "batch" for you - but first, a little vacation is in order! Blessings to you & Stud.