Friday, June 3, 2011

My "Cheesy" Influence

     During a class break yesterday, one of my students handed me an envelope and candy bar.  He smiled and said, "Sorry if it's a little cheesy - my sister helped me with the words."  I smiled and told him I would love it.
     I didn't get a chance to read his note until last night when the last day of school chaos was over.  As I started to cry, I wished I had been able to read it right then so he could see how much his words affected me.  This is his letter - with spelling and grammar intact from his original.  His "cheesy" words say it better than I ever could.   

Dear Mrs. Cooke,
     I have loved being in your class so much.  It has been such a great school year being in your class.  I have been so influenced on how nice you have been.  You have been such a great influence on what I have thought about what I want to do with my life.  After hearing your decision on almost quiting teaching.  I am really glad you did not quite teaching.  I have loved seeing, & hearing you teach.  After this year I have been wanting to go into education.  Thank's for being such a great teacher.  Sorry if this was a little cheesy.  

     We make a difference like this every day.  We just don't always get to hear it.  Today I want to celebrate teachers for the difference they make to kids every day.    

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Popsicles and the Art of Forgiveness

     I learned two lessons this week.  First - don't buy popsicles for 8th graders.  They make "colorful" comments that get them sent out of class for a time-out.       Second - when an 8th grade boy makes a colorful comment, forgive him and give him a second chance. 
     After I talked to him yesterday at lunch, he looked like he was going to cry. 
     Today was Memory Book Day and he shyly asked me to sign his book.  He looked down at me and said, "Ms. Cooke, I want you to know I am really sorry about yesterday."  Then he shook my hand. 
     You can't hold grudges with kids.  They are still learning - life lessons included. 
     So, today I taught the power of forgiveness.  Now summer begins with a clean slate so we can both enjoy popsicles.