Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Heartwarming

Y'all, sometimes my kids make my heart want to burst with pride and happiness. I received a picture as a gift from one of our Sped students. It's sweet- a rainbow that reads "to my Ms." I hung it on the board and its received a lot of attention.

Then, during my science Olympiad practice, we were discussing competition etiquette and the importance of being polite not just in the event rooms, but in the hallways, bathrooms, and all areas of the competition. I let my "veteran" 8th graders talk to my 6 and 7 graders about what a competition with people from all 50 states looks like, the cultural and social differences (not to mention that their southern accents will most certainly draw attention), sportsmanship, and other things. I have rarely been so proud. They discussed how to properly greet a judge, reviewed handshakes, eye contact, you name it.

For some of these kids, a trip to the northern US is a first. For some of them, even traveling more than 60 mile from home is a first. We live in an ocean-front state and many of my kids have never been to the beach. So this is a really, really big deal. It's exciting and terrifying.

Most special to me of all though were the lessons on how to treat people with compassion. Mental and physical disabilities and deformities were discussed with a sensitivity I couldn't have expected. After a long day, this heartwarming practice and sunshiny picture were just what a teacher needs.

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