While I was gone to Phoenix I left my class in charge of my class. I designated one student in each class to be responsible for reading the lesson plans and running class each day I was gone.
I was a bit nervous about leaving the students in charge. However, I received an email from my substitute at about 10 a.m. the first day saying that she was already bored because the students were running the classes and being completely responsible about everything.
When I got back I was so tired I didn't even go to the school to see what the students had done. Instead, I went to bed and figured I would deal with whatever mess was awaiting me when I got into school the next day. The cool thing is, there was no mess awaiting me. The students had worked on EVERYTHING that I had asked them to work on and had gotten quite a bit done while I was gone! All I had to do was quickly check in with each class to see where they were at and I could pick up right where I left off.
I amazed right now as I sit here. It's a little after 5 and although I want to go home I just can't seem to make that announcement. Right now, I have three students in my classroom. One is working on some homework that isn't even going to be assigned until tomorrow, another is working on editing and revising a short story that she wrote earlier this year and another is filling out an application to attend RAHI this summer. I'm blogging.
Three years ago I walked into this classroom not knowing what to expect from my students. I was unsure of myself as a teacher and felt like nothing I did was ever going to matter. There were many times that first year I felt like a failure and felt that I just would never be able to figure out how to teach in this district. There were lots of tears and frustrations that year....both from me and from my students. We had plenty of hiccups along the way...I was learning how to become a teacher and they were learning patience.
As I look around this classroom at this moment I am floored by the growth that has occurred right in front of me. I have seen boys and girls becoming young men and women. I have seen them go from being unsure of themselves to taking risks and trying new things. I have seen them gain confidence and my heart leaps every time someone asks a question and before I can even bat an eyelash another student jumps up to help them.
Don't get me wrong...days aren't always great here in O-ville, things don't always go smoothly and yes, the tears still come (more on my part then theirs now..they are much tougher than I ever will be). However, we have formed a small little family within this school and I know that I am so lucky to be working with such great students. I am so proud of them and am so grateful for each and everyone!