Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grab a Coke and Open Summer

I've tried many times to put into words just how liberating 
the last day of school is.  

I've talked about my end-of-the-year ritual here.  

I've savored my summer routine here

After seeing Coca Cola's latest ad campaign, however, I realize there is just nothing left to say:

Grab a Coke and Open Summer

And that's exactly what I've done on this last day of school.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

No Small Change

Teaching has often been labeled  a "thankless job."  I'm not sure that I agree with that--gratitude can take form in so many ways. . .

An unexpected smile or hug from a student, parent, or colleague
A surprise cherry Coke from a teacher friend in the middle of the afternoon
A student-written silly note
An email full of praise and support . . .

 and this

a coin from the superintendent!

The Superintendent Recognition Coin is awarded by our superintendent to teachers throughout the district who have shown outstanding contribution to student achievement.  

Truth be told, I had forgotten about this coin.  I certainly didn't think it was a big deal--in fact, I thought it was kind of silly.

until . . .

last week, when I heard my classroom door rattle.  I glanced back expecting to see one of our administrators or a dean coming to take a student from class.  Instead, I saw our superintendent, accompanied by our principal!  My heart started racing as my brain started questioning . . .

Is my objective posted???
Are my kids focused???
What was I saying when he opened the door???

Not knowing what to do or say, I just continued my writing demonstration, hoping and praying he would observe for a few moments and then leave.  Not to be . . . he walked to the front of the room and stood right before me.  The intense stare of 30 pairs of adolescent eyes and the superintendent standing two feet in front of me made me want to crawl under a table.  Instead, I mustered a "It's great to see you in my classroom" or something like that.  He got right to the point and presented me with his coin. He turned to the kids and explained what the coin was all about, and then they burst into applause--my fifth period--a class that has been a thorn in my side all year.  I just never know about that class.  

They could have been this class
7th grade terrors

but instead they were this class!
Students of the Year!

and long after the superintendent left my room, they were abuzz as they relived the experience of having the superintendent present their teacher with a coin.

"We thought we were in trouble!"
"Ms. Thompson, your face turned red."
"That was cool!"

Getting this coin in a district that employs more than 6000 amazing people may seem like pocket change to some, but to me, this thank you from the superintendent (and my principal, for I'm sure he had a hand in this) is exactly what I needed to survive the last few weeks and is yet another reason to believe . . .  in teaching . . . in our kids . . .  in our future.