Monday, October 11, 2010

Best Teacher Award

I'm sure I could walk around school tomorrow and find that students in each classroom have drawn pictures or written notes to their teachers, often probably saying something like "I love you." (yes, apparently after 2 weeks of meeting a brand new teacher, students can already love them......) or "You're the best teacher ever." Since these notes are so common around school and every student thinks his or her teacher is THE best, I don't often let these notes go to my head (although I do get an awful lot of them.... hahaha). Actually, a lot of the time I just end up throwing the notes away as soon as the kids load the bus after school. Occasionally, though, I'll get a note that really warms my heart and reminds me of why I do what I do.
One such note was delivered to me on Friday. The kids were all taking a Science Test and they know that whenever they finish, I will collect it and they can sit at their seats and do something silently while they wait. After collecting this one boy's test, I wandered around the classroom for a bit and then ended up back near his desk. As soon as he saw me look over at him, he quickly covered what he was working on and told me I wasn't allowed to look. Since he has been known to write not-so-nice notes before (see post about sexy list!), I was a little suspicious. He gave me a huge smile and said "It's not bad. It's for you!" Figuring it was just another "cool teacher" drawing, I walked away and let him do his thing. About 5 minutes later, I was sitting at my desk and he walked over and asked if he could use the restroom. I said "sure" and he quickly threw the note down on my desk and said "read this while I'm gone" and darted out of the room. Naturally, I was super curious, so I picked it up and began reading.... "I'm glad your my teacher. Your the best teacher I ever had. Thank you for everything you done to make me smarter." Clearly we have some grammar still to learn, but, seriously?! How could my heart not melt after reading that?

So, while the majority of the class thinks I'm the "Best Teacher Ever," I do have the select few who would probably be ok if they were no longer in my class... In fact, today I had a student tell me he was going to have his mom request that he be placed in another class (to which I lovingly thought "please do!"). It came about at the end of the day as the students were packing up. This student had not been making good choices all day and so I was already on his bad side. Then, I handed out the agendas, inside of which were the students interims (mid-quarter report cards/progress reports). I specifically told my kids not to open them until they were home (or at least on the bus, since their curious little minds couldn't control themselves!!). As I handed out the last agenda, I look over to see this boy reading his interim in plain sight, with no concern for my directions at all. I explained that he must not have heard me, so he should please put it away, which he did. He then walked over to me and asked if he could be in another class. I halfheartedly said "sure" and he walked toward the door. Knowing better than to leave, he looked at me and said, "I'm going to tell my mom to put me in another class. Then, I'll have that teacher print me out a new interim with good grades on it!" And that pretty much sums up this child. Haha. Clearly, the fact that he has only turned in 1/2 of his classwork assignments and about 1/30 of his homework assignments so far this quarter has nothing to do with his bad grades. It's simply the fact that I'm a terrible teacher. It all makes sense now. :) I think the absolute best part about it all is the Catch-22 that he's now in.. if he truly does decide to ask mom to switch his classes (highly doubtful and unlikely), he has to explain the reason he wants to move (aka: showing her a not-so-hot interim report!). If he decides not to ask her and stays in my class, he can hide his interim... until tomorrow, when I call all the parents who did not sign the agenda signifying they saw the interim! Oh how I love being the teacher in these instances.

One last funny story... The other day, my students were making Social Studies Review cards to put on a metal ring to study for class tests and the SOL. After students write the questions and answers down from the board, I go around and hole punch the corner of their cards so they can put them on the ring. We were running out of time, so I was bouncing around to students all over the classroom. When I thought I was finished, and just wanted to double check, I loudly asked, "Is there anyone who I still need to punch?" Hahaha. Thankfully only a handful of kids heard and I was able to correct my statement before it got out of control. If only I were able to ask that question for real..

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