Pumpkin Town!

TGIF!  What a day!

I know I vented yesterday and I’ve been venting alot about the issues at my school (if you’re not my Facebook friend, you should be!)  so today I want to share a huge …people, I said HUGE celebration!  This is why I teach.  This is why I can do what I do.  This is what makes it all worth it!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve heard me talk?  blog?  about my ELL friend.  The beginning of the year was rough.  I’ve never taught an ELL student before who didn’t speak ANY English so we’ve had our struggles.  But today we had a breakthrough   Oh yeah, huge I said.  And wait…not just A breakthrough but TWO BREAKTHROUGHS   Yeah, my Friday was that good.

Picture it.  Morning Meeting.  Room 114.  8:23 a.m. (Yeah, it’s that big of a deal!)  We were doing our regular Friday morning message of nouns.  We had done our Rally Robin strategy and shared people and places.  We had ONE MORE blank for things.  I asked for one more thing.  And this beacon of light shone gloriously over our classroom.  And there in the glimmer of light was my ELL friend’s hand in air.  People, at this point I might or might not have been a little teary eyed.  She has NEVER volunteered or pretended to volunteer so just the gesture of the hand up was big.  But…it’s not over yet…let the trumpets sound because when I called her name a voice filled the air.  And this wasn’t the normal whisper voice when she is repeating what I say.  This was a strong, confident voice that said, I am going to share.  The most beautiful word echoed throughout our classroom and the walls of our school:  “APPLE!”  Yes, my ELL friend raised her hand and volunteered an apple.  8:23 a.m.  and my day was a success.  But…oh there’s a but…read on!

My ELL friend also wears pull-ups (as does another student in my class and the principal says it’s acceptable….I dunno..) and refuses to ever go to the bathroom.  EVER.  She gives me her standard response of shaking her shoulders no.  Yeah, it’s that much of a no.  It’s not a head shaking no, but a shoulder shaking no.  It was her turn for the restroom so I casually said her name fully expecting the should shaking no.  And it happened.  She rose.  And marched triumphantly into that bathroom.  People, today she WENT TO THE RESTROOM!  I seriously did my happy dance around the room.  I think that means she trusts me now and isn’t afraid that something will happen to her.  HUGE!  I was ecstatic.  

This could not have come at a more perfect time for this teacher.  This is the moment that I needed to kick me from my dark place and help see that we’re doing downright awesome in our class.  This was such a great accomplishment and a long time coming!

With all of that excitement our day should be wrapped.  But no.  We’re just getting started.  Yeah, Mr. Greg’s class is always exciting and full of adventure!

Today was our field trip to the pumpkin patch!  We had a great time on our hour long trip (2 hours if you count the drive to and from!) Speaking of the ride…about 25 minutes into our trip my ELL friend threw up on me.  Yeah, she apparently gets car sick.  Or bus sick.  That should have been a sign that the field trip was in trouble.  One whole hour at the pumpkin patch?  Yep.  An hour into our trip, it begins to pour down rain.   And it was COLD today.  The forecast was for mid 60s and clouds, umm I might need to have a word with one Mother Nature.  We got mid 50s, wind and rain.  In the midst of the rain, we ran to the actual pumpkin patch and grabbed pumpkins and off we went!

Here is my ELL friend.  Funny story: (wait, aren’t all of my stories funny?!)  We were supposed to get 1 pumpkin.  We were running because it was raining and we were over it.  We lined up and I looked in her bag.  It was FULL of pumpkins.  Yeah, she was getting her money’s worth.  

Once we returned to school and had lunch (soggy sack lunches!) we embarked on a tradition that has been time honored in my classroom.  This tradition was started 6 years ago my classroom volunteer and the tradition has continued.

We (Mr. Greg) cut open our pumpkins, clean them out and plant a flower inside.  I absolutely love watching the kids get their hands in the pumpkin and feel that gooey goodness inside.  The giggles…the laughter…the screams…the eeeewwwws…it’s a perfect way to end a field trip gone awry.

Look at her face!  I loved watching her have this experience!  She had so much fun!  

The finished product!
And this…as we exited the bus after the field trip, we saw two cop cars driving by the bus and in front of the school very slowly…with the lights on…the officers were clearly looking for something….I expected to enter the building and be on lockdown.  No.  As we’re entering our classroom, I see this right outside of my window.  I called the office and the response was “I am aware.”
I LOVE my job and I LOVE my kids!  I am so blessed to be able to close my door and mold young minds!

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