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.
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You are awesome. I can not say that any other way. She has made gains because of you and your fabulous attitude. You have not only taught her her letters, her sounds, and how to walk in a line down the stairs. You have taught her how to have an awesome attitude as well. You are both blessed– with each other.
What a sweet post Greg. Thank you for sharing and reminding us!
This post made me tear up for you. Fire Drill will always have a special place in your heart. Loving this.
One of my most challenging students a couple of years ago was also one of the most unique individual people (not just kids, anyone!) that I had ever met. No one could say that she wasn't her own person, and while she could test my patience as much as any student I've ever had, she's also one of those kids who grew so much with me- and who I'm sure will go on to be an amazing success someday.
I have a feeling Fire Drill will too, in part because of having a teacher like you that loves her for who she is 🙂
Loved this post, Greg.
Awesome Post! The photo of her sounds and letter graph is more than just numbers. Remember–It is a student who you genuinely care about and want to see succeed, not just with school, but in life. And you used that as a charge to make a difference.
Funny how we affect kids, but how kids affect us too.
Thanks for sharing this Greg.
Digital: Divide & Conquer
Sweetest, most lovely post EVER. Yet MORE reasons I heart you!!!
Hugs of Happiness (and thankfulness for YOU!!) – Lisa
What a beautiful post – and what a testament to how great you are, and all the reasons we do this job. Thanks so much for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!
First Grade Fairytales
She'll be one you never forget! And I'm certain she won't forget you!
That's beautiful! Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for those quirkers… sometimes they're hard but definitely the most rewarding!
*Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge*
Beautiful. Just beautiful. Teaching is the BEST job in the world! I'm thankful for teachers like you that can see the uniqueness in each child, that understands how much these kiddos need us, and that you've given her the environment to thrive. Such a great post!
These are the moments you live for as a teacher! Happy Thanksgiving!
Msr Geg~ You warm my heart like a pipping-hot latte on a cold winter morning! Love it that you walk the walk. I only wish I could hear the daily lunch-table updates about her cute-ness. Good on you for helping her in the ways she needs.
Wow…Thank you I needed that! Truly inspirational. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
This is so incredibly awesome! I know the students who are often the biggest challenge end up being some of my favorites! (Although all teachers know we aren't supposed to have favorites. HA!) Thank you for being a teacher who strives every single day to ensure the very best for your students. They are lucky to have you!
What a fantastic post! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story. Your passion for your students has brought the best out in this little girl and I am sure you will always have a special place in her heart! You rock!
That's why I love teaching Kindergarten. The children grow so much and it is so rewarding.
Glad to hear what you are thankful for
Thanks for sharing that sweet story Greg! So beautiful and a great reminder to all of us that every child needs us (and we need them).
I wish I had a Fire Drill this year. With them being older, I feel like I am not needed in those ways anymore….she is just precious, MSR GEG!!!
☞ Go Nutty With Me ☜
This was a beautiful post. We are so lucky to work with precious children every day. 🙂
Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!
It's kids like her that make me love my job! I can't give up on them when they don't give up on themselves. If they can't learn the way I teach, I have to teach the way they learn. I strive to do that!
I had a “Fire Drill” 4 years ago. He came in knowing nothing and after much one-on-one, an IEP and 2 years with me, he made so much progress and I was a bit attached. Fast forward to this past summer when his mom e-mailed telling me that he passed this third grade reading achievement test. Tears of joy! So proud of that little guy! She will be in your heart forever!
A Very Curious Class
I love your blog and look forward to it each and every day! I want to be as good of a teacher as you are. Thank you for all you do and being you.
Mr. Greg, Love your post.
As teachers, we all have one or more FD's in our class, and we came to rescue them with lots of patience, repetition, time and love. At the end you find yourself admiring your masterpiece.
This post brought tears to my eyes. Unbelievably sweet. Your students are so lucky to have you as their teacher. Thank you for this thoughtful and heartwarming post.
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Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten
What a beautiful reminder of our little fire drills and how they keep us going when at times teachers are blamed for everything or are always asked to do more and more. She is the reason we go to school each day! Thank you!
Renee at Science School Yard
I am sitting here with tears in my eyes and thinking how very, very lucky she is to have you in her life. She is little but I have no doubt that she will look back on her days with you as an adult and be able to feel and know the help, kindness, love, and opportunity you gave her each and every day in your room. Thank you for such a beautiful reminder of the impact we have on these little lives every day. -Christina 🙂
We all have a little fire drill in us! I am thankful for you Gresy Wegsy!
I LOVED this post. She will remember you FOREVER- just like you will remember her. Thank you for sharing this!
Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together
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