Smorgasboard of Thankfulness

Hello Thanksgiving break!!!  I am thankful for you!  hehe
I’m sure we’ve all seen the thankfulness project that is happening on Facebook.  You know, the one where you post something that you’re thankful for each day…well, I’m a slacker and I don’t participate.  It’s not because I’m not thankful and am not blessed beyond measure…it’s that I’m a slacker.  True story.
But…something happened at school yesterday that made me stop and realize that I have even more to be thankful for.  When I shared this happy event on Facebook (BE MY FRIEND ON FACEBOOK!) someone thanked me for appreciating the uniqueness of my best buddy, “Fire Drill.”  Then I had an Oprah AHA moment.  
If you don’t know the story of Fire Drill and how she got her name…the short version is that during our first fire drill of the year, she literally came RUNNING out of the building (in her little khaki jumper) with her arms flailing frantically…yelling “IT’S A FIRE!  IT’S A FIRE!”  True story.  Oh and this was in front of the whole school.  She also says “WHAT?!” to me a lot and then responds to directions with “OH!!”  And when she gets mad at me she says ” OH MY GAWD” and crosses her arms.  One day, she randomly jumped up and yelled “FIRE IN THE HOLE” and sat down.  UH?!  HUH?!  She might have even wanted to be a penis (translation-princess) for Halloween.  Each day with her is a non-stop train ride of hilarity and craziness.
When FD arrived the first day of school she shrugged when I asked her name.  She knew ZERO anything.  She didn’t know letters or numbers or sounds.  She didn’t count.  She didn’t walk in line or down steps.  She would get up and wander whenever she wanted.  Honestly, I was dreading it.  I know that makes me an awful awful person but I knew she was going to present a huge challenge.  Fast forward.  
Today, I no longer dread FD.  In fact, I am most thankful for her.  She has shown me that attitude is everything.  This little girls works harder than anyone in our room.  She never gives up.  She never lets her lack of understanding stop her.  She sings louder than anyone.  She laughs more than anyone.  She hugs me more than anyone.  She is more compassionate to her friends than anyone.  She begs to read books in the library and begs to read to me.  She is simply enthralled with school and is happy to be there.  She tells me how silly I am.  She even drags me to the carpet to dance when we have bran breaks.  She is simply, FIRE DRILL.  I am thankful for her amazing uniqueness.  
Remember, this is a child who knew nothing when she walked through the door of Mustache Land.  I actually feel she came in with a negative because she didn’t even know her name.  And yesterday, I assessed her letters and sounds.  And this is the result. 

35 letters.  24 sounds.
There was a huge celebration in our classroom.  Cheering…music…hugs…every one was thrilled for our little ‘stache.   I don’t think she could have smiled bigger or been more proud of herself.  I don’t know that I have seen a child who was so excited to see themselves learning something.
AND she can now walk down the stairs.  I am thankful for each day where she clung to me as we learned down the stairs.  I am thankful that each day I assured her I would never let her fall.  I am thankful for the trust she put in me.  I am thankful for a class of students who was so patient with her each trip down the steps.  I am thankful for each step she takes down the stairs.  
I am thankful for this little bundle of uniqueness because she has reminded me that there is boundless potential in every child.  I am thankful for her because she has reminded me that every child deserves the most from Mr. Greg.  I am thankful for her contagious happiness.  She brings pure joy and sunshine to our classroom everyday.  I am thankful for her perseverance.  When I say she doesn’t let a lack of understanding stop her, I mean that.  She will work on a center or project with amazing intensity.  It might be completely wrong but that girl will work until she is finished.   I am thankful that she isn’t afraid to ask me to help her (and by ask for help, I mean yell at me from across the room:  “MSR GEG YOU HELP ME?”)
But what I am most thankful for is that she is Fire Drill.  She is her own person and she is certainly one of the most unique little people that I have had the pleasure of teaching.  She is something special, that one.  I am so thankful for her uniqueness and for her unwillingness to be anything but herself.  She is simply inspiring me to be the best person and teacher that I can be.  
Indeed, I am blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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