Every Saturday I get the opportunity to celebrate the week over at Ruth Ayres' blog,
Today I celebrate my students. I celebrate their strength, their compassion, their capacity to love and to care for their friends.
Tragedy struck our little community this week. One of my students lost her mother in a car accident. It hit us hard. This little girl is in my first class of the day...it's a small class...only fourteen of us in there...we are a tight group.
Yesterday morning the principal suggested that we could dedicate our moment of silence for this family. My kids froze. They knew what happened, but he said it out loud. He said the words, he used her name. After announcements, I looked into those faces and stopped. I said a prayer for strength and I know what happened next was because God was with us in that room.
We talked. We cried. We hugged! They asked questions and I did my best to give answers...where there are no good answers. They wanted to do something. We scrapped our plans. I said, "We do have lots of important English stuff to do, but today nothing is as important as YOU and how you are feeling!"
What happened next was beautiful...every kid in that class thoughtfully and carefully constructed cards for our fellow classmate. They found words of comfort, they drew pictures, they wrote poems...
They moved and sat with their friends and quietly talked. They asked for music, so I turned some on, "Ms. Haseltine, please don't make it sad music!" And they worked hard for an hour! The results will bring tears to your eyes. I cry every time I read these words and feel the love they poured into this project.
I didn't want to leave them sad. I wanted them to know that it's ok to be happy and laugh a little today...so we practiced some Random Acts of Kindness. I explained what that was...finding a way to anonymously brighten someone else's day! They started making signs that said, "You're beautiful!" and hung them on the bathroom mirrors. One student wanted some sticky notes...all day long, she left notes for students and teachers in all her classes for the rest of the day. Here's mine...
They loved watching people smile after reading the notes.
In my long career, there are days I know that I'll remember forever...yesterday was one of those days. Each of those students showed their heart yesterday. I walked around the class, watching them hard at work and I said, "I have the best job in the world."
If you read my blog post about the rainbow earlier this week, that's the day this happened. I believe that rainbow was sent by that mom.