Today was one of those days when I step away from teaching in a few years that I will look back on fondly and remember why I became a teacher. My day started at 8:00 with our Newbery Club that Bill and I host for students who love reading. Seventeen fifth graders showed up 45 minutes early to discuss their favorite books and share their top picks for winning the Newbery, Top picks have included: Counting on 7''s, Navigating Early ,Rump, and Boy on the Porch. If you have ever considered starting a reading club focusing on students who love reading and want to read several books a month in order to have rich conversations I would encourage you to begin your own Newbery Club.
At 8:45 I had a MFE (multi-factored evaluation) in which a dedicated team of teachers and the student's parents met to go over testing for their child. The big take away for me is taking time to listen and remember that every parent always wants what is best for their child. We were able to work as team for this child and design a plan that will positively effect this child's learning.
During my lunch, I had an 11:30 meeting with a grandfather and parent of a student in my class. We have been working together on an amazing learning opportunity for myself as well as my students. The conversations were rich and reminding myself again to listen to their feedback was not only fulfilling but also gratifying because of their recognition of how I am implementing technology into our classroom.
At 12:00 I met with eight mothers to organize my favorite event of the year. Honestly this afternoon was the #1 event I look forward to since the first day of school. Each year along with my teammates we organize: Fifth Grade Gives Back! We have each class rotate every 30 minutes through four stations. My station includes making 100 brown bag breakfasts (pancake mix, cereal, fruit cup, granola bar, and drink) students decorate brown bags as wrapping paper for our local food pantry. The next station was practicing holiday carols and then after school 34 students along with their parents went to our local nursing home to sing after school. Thanks Sarah for making this happen every year! Next the students made holiday cards and crafts that will be taken to Children's Hospital to help encourage the sick children during the holidays. Finally the last stop was bagging toiletries which we collected for a fews week. These toiletry bags will also be delivered to our local food pantry. Finally at 2:30, all the meals were packed and were taken down to the stage to be delivered tomorrow morning.
Today was the BEST day for so many reasons but for me there were several opportunities for me to stop and remember to listen. Always an important reminder as the holidays get busy. I also have huge feelings of (OLW) gratitude for another chance to teach my students about the importance of being grateful. To top it off we just got the mail, and I got a Christmas card from a friend that touched my heart with her kind words! Life is grand and I am thankful!!