Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Year Ending...

I can't believe that this is the end of my 4th year of teaching.  It feels like yesterday that I was a brand new, fresh-faced, scared like crazy, brand new teacher.  Each year, I love my job more and more, and feel that I learn so much about what it means to be a great teacher.

Today I gave out class awards.  Our school has an awards ceremony for 3rd through 6th grades, but I like to have a little classroom award ceremony with my second graders each year.  I make up an award for each student, depending on their personalities and accomplishments that year.  Some are silly and some are serious, but it always seems to make an impact on my students.  The awards include things like "Author of the Year", "Creativity Award", "Boy/Girl Supercitizen", "Outstanding Athlete", "Wiggle Worm Award", and "Daydreamer Award".  The kids get so anxious to see what award they will win!

Today, after I handed out the awards, we were talking about what a great year we had had, and I was telling the kiddos how proud I was of all the things they have learned this year.  One little girl raised her hand and said "I have something to say!"  Then she proceeded to tell me that she thought I was the best teacher she had ever had.  (Yes, she's a bit of a teacher's pet....) Well, after that, they all wanted to "say something".  So, we went around the room and I let the kids say what they wanted seemed like they needed to get it off their chests.  My favorite was "Mrs. Shinabargar, you are a good teacher because you always listen to what we have to say and you like us for who we are."  Oh, leave it to second graders to make you feel like you've found your purpose in life. :)  By the end of it, half of us were in tears...then they kept hugging me for the rest of the day!

I started thinking about how this can really be a hard time of transition for some children...after all, I probably spend more time with these kids Monday through Friday than their parents do.  We do form a really special bond, and it is hard for an eight-year-old to realize that she won't see me everyday anymore.  Yet, as they get older, they form relationships with new teachers.....and I wonder how many of them will remember their second grade teacher when they look back some day.  Teaching is a unique profession.  I can't imagine another job where you invest as much of your heart and soul into shaping and molding a bunch of little people...helping them along their way to becoming themselves, guiding them towards what they were destined to be. 

Even on the days that I feel I want to pull my hair out, or when a child lies, or makes a bad choice, or forgets their homework, or won't shut up, or (like today) stabs their best friend in the hand with a pencil... I LOVE BEING A TEACHER! 

And now...1/2 days until Happy Summer!!


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