Yesterday was a good day, a real good day. It was the last school day before winter break. Everyone was a little anxious and the school felt a little chaotic, but people were genuinely happy. Kids were doing crafts and there were winter movies playing in the background. I wrote each of my kids a note just simply saying how proud I was of them and how lucky I felt to have them in my life. Seeing their wide grinning smiles as I helped them read their individual letters felt so calming and my spirits were high. Each of them hugged me and my student DW said to his friend on the way out of my room, "I can't wait to show this to my grandma and hang it on the fridge."
Bus dismissal is always crazy. Kids are running to catch their buses as they clunk over snow banks. They drop their art project. They say, "Wait, I think I need to go the bathroom." My response: "There's no time, little one. There's no time." They say, "Oh man," and continue to clunk along, their hat too big for their tiny head and their mittens almost slipping off their tiny hands. They attempt to make snowballs and then get shut down. They try to sneak off their bus so they can run in the snow. Again, shut down. They press their faces up against the glass, totally unaware of the germs, and mouth, "Bye, teacher!!!!" with an over-enthusiastic wave.
I was hurriedly trying to find my student M because he got his first 100% on a spelling test and I really wanted him to be able to take it home to show his parents. As I'm frantically stepping on and off each of the 7 buses trying to find him, I suddenly hear a soft voice a few feet behind me. Who is it? M of course. His big ole hat is shading his eyes, and his oversized fleece jacket drapes his small frame. His pants sag a little, not because he is trying to be cool, but because his pants are too big for him and his green belt doesn't tighten tight enough. Exasperated, I say, "M, I've been looking for you!"and I hand him his graded spelling test. He then says quickly in reply, "I've been looking for you too, Ms. B." He then does his oh-so-adorable, gap-toothed smile and gives me a big bear hug and hands me a note that simply says, "To Ms. B... Love M" and it has a picture he drew of the two of us reading a book. He then gave me the sincerest, "Merry Christmas," I've ever received and another hug. "I'll miss you over break!" he shouted. Before I could even reply, he was turned around running after his bus, his hands holding onto his pant loops to keep his pants from falling. I love that kid. I really do.