Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Day Like This

"Can I show you something?" he quietly asked after the other kids had filed out. I figured Elias (the student who I've written about previously here) was going to show me a new game or some idea he was working on. He'd put something on a flash drive so he plugged it into my lap top. It was the end of the day and the hallway was chaotic as usual so I told him to open up what he wanted to show me and come get me from the hall. He did what he needed and then walked over and patiently waited for me while I wrangled with 7th/8th graders. I walked to my laptop and what he'd pulled up was not a new game or idea, it was the note in the picture below. 

I could not hold back tears as I read this in front of him (and still makes me tear up each time I read it). This kind of note is priceless. In a year where I have been pushed well beyond my comfort zone and felt less than successful... WOW! Reminds me of the story of the starfish:

No matter what has happened this year I feel good knowing I made a difference for this one student. That's all we can hope for in this world... that we make it better for at least a one.

The story doesn't end with Elias' note. I shared with him that most likely I won't be back next year due to some reprograming of specials type classes. I gave him my school email and said I want to keep in touch with him and that if he ever needs anything, I am here. I just checked my email this morning and found this:
I have had a great time today. You are one of my favorite teachers that i feel like crying because i only get to see you once this year. I hope that i will be able to keep you in my future generation because you are a really nice person to talk to someone who really understands who i am and what i do. I think this is the best time I've ever had. I feel better getting 7 hugs all in one day because that shows me that i have people who cares about me. I am going to miss you.

Days Like This! 

On a completely different note, I also had something else pretty cool happen yesterday. My campaign to spread smiles at school with the little pipe cleaner peeps was not my idea as I shared before. I thought it proper to share what I'd done with the people who sparked my idea. I got this response.
Hi Gia - This is amazing! One of our friends, who makes Little Heart Man ( will be so happy to see this. I love it that everyone is inspired by one another and that you're making these anonymously for your teachers as well as the students. If you do it often enough, I think there might be a lot of people who will be inspired by you and your work to do the same thing! I always try to pay it forward and you're definitely doing that with this project. Keep up the great work!
and this was posted on littleheartman's FB page as well:

New friends spreading random acts of kindness! We recently received a message from our friends at Make DC Smile, a teacher in Denver saw Little Heart Man on the Make DC Smile page and made her own little guys with signs inspired by Make DC Smile. She's been spreading good cheer by anonymously giving them to fellow teachers and placing them in random spots in her school for the students. We love these guys!

 Days Like This!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Days Like This

Yesterday was a Day Like This

Started out with a fitting message in my morning reading about it's not what's in our pockets, bank accounts OR the the things we have... It's about what's in our hearts. I spent the weekend making these little pipe cleaner people (got the idea from makedcsmile and little blue man on FB). My idea was to anonymously give them to a few people at school to make them smile.

Something about a new pair of kicks also started the day off well. I was a cool kid in middle school yesterday. Even had some of the kids who normally have nothing nice to say to me give me a compliment. One boy even chatted me up enough to ask what size they were. When I told him, he claimed that was his size and that I should take them off and give them to him.  I felt connected.

Had a great convo with an AP about how I can use the data maps the classroom teachers work with to help me help kids in the computer lab. Again, I felt connected. 

Mondays and Thursdays cause me a bit of anxiety because I have 8th grade these days. Yesterday they came in to my room less overwhelming. Perhaps it was my attitude (a new pair of kicks kinda attitude) but I felt they listened to my lesson more than most other times. When it was time for them to get started and work.... THEY WORKED. I assessed the work they completed on the spot and had all but 4 or so complete the task. Everything fell into place during that class. I ventured upstairs to share the positiveness with my AP. While I was up there the student who had previously wanted to steal my shoes (he's one that is hit or miss on his work completion and attitude) stated " I did good in your class today huh Miss?" I was very glad to answer him with a, "YES you certainly did." Again, connected. 

Days Like This. I bought a guitar a few years ago and have tried to learn to play it a couple times... unsuccessfully. This time, I'm hoping will be different. It already is. The music teacher started an after school guitar lesson group for students. I'm late in joining the group but that's ok. I like sitting with the kids and being on the other side with them. I also like letting them play teacher to help me catch up. One student sits next to me every time and helps, chats with me and yesterday kindly said I should learn Spanish (this is another thing on my bucket list- hopefully this summer).  Again, connected but this time on a different level. I am their classmate in that room and I love that!

Ended the day with an email from Denver Green School wanting to set up a phone interview. Made me smile knowing I'd passed step 1 (resume review) in their five step hiring process. I'm excited. 

Days Like This ..... make me smile :)