It's March, which for my hubby means employment review and possible raise and bonus.
For teachers, it means returning your intent form to teach next year. And in the next month or two we will get our contracts to sign. Hopefully, a raise....you might need a magnifying glass to see it, but a small raise hopefully none the less.
But, I got my bonus early this year.
Yes, I got a bonus.
I got this beautiful rose from one of my awesome firsties.
What's so awesome about this rose, is that this little guy brought it himself. He wanted to bring us flowers to school on Friday. One for me and one for my assistant. He wanted to do this so badly he forgot his show and tell at home and mom had to go get it.
This rose means the world to me. This simple single rose says: respect and trust. See this little guy had a tough Kinder year at another school. And frankly if you had asked anyone if he would have flourished as he has I think no one would have believed it.
There is a saying "Bloom where you are planted." This little guy did just that. He was transplanted to our school this year with a four inch binder filled with all sorts of paper work.
Want to know how many times I have looked in that binder?
None, since the day he started in August.
Want to know why?
Something in me knew that this little guy needed someone to believe in him. More than any binder could tell me. He also needed to trust me. What we have built is truly amazing. This little guy has not just bloomed he has blossomed like this rose in our classroom.
If you take a little time as an adult/teacher/coach and show to your students that you respect them they will respect you back. If you take the time to speak to them with kind words you will take the wounded and heal them. If you take the time to let them earn your trust, you will earn theirs.
This little guy came in full off anxiety, not thinking he could do much, his paperwork said as much as well. And slowly he spouted. He grew into more than he thought he could. He continues to grow more than most adults thought he could.
He came in as a basic non-reader with limited sounds. Unable to write beyond a very pre-k stage. An incredible support team was established for him. This includes his wonderful parents, sisters and extended family, his pediatrician, his reading coach, the school support teacher, his tutor, myself and my teaching assistant, and finally a classroom of students who have been taught that a classroom is not just a group of friends but rather an extended family. Among this group there are have been other therapists (OT,PT, Speech etc).
We gave him a ground that was tilled with love and support. That was irrigated with trust. And supported with respect. See these are the items you need to successfully build up a child. A child who now can read, write, present in front of his classmates. He is a child who knows now he has purpose. And isn't that what we all need...to know we have a purpose. We bloom where we are planted and loved.
Our group is not tooting it's own horn. We are sounding the bells. Build a classroom with mutual respect, trust and love. Give kids a chance to show you what they can do. Work together, come together. Be supportive of all members of the group. Be consistent. Trust each other and respect the work of each.
My heart belongs to him. Never will I forget this little guy and how much he has taught me in return. This was the best bonus of all, this rose says it all.
Wife, Mom, Educator and Lifelong Learner