Today at bus time, I had the rare opportunity walk the hallways… as our last day of screening ended, I was a captain without a ship – no students to call my own as their Spring Break had been extended a few days so we could screen. In any event, I wandered over to the Art room where Mrs. H., a second grade teacher was waiting with her class for the bus duty person to arrive.
As I stopped say hello to her, Elizabeth, an incredible little girl from my first year in kindergarten, came running over shouting my name and wrapping her arms around me.
Now Elizabeth was a little girl who worked her way right into my heart that first year. She had some academic challenges her parents and I really collaborated on and she eventually began to blossom as the year ended. One area she never struggled in was being affectionate. She was, and still is, quite simply one of the sweetest children I’ve ever known.
I relayed this to her second grade teacher in front of her and she beamed. I then asked her about her reading.
“You know, I would love to come listen to you read sometime…” I began.
Her grin turned sheepish. Clearly I’d hit a nerve.
As she buried her head into my side, Mrs. H. said, “She’s so smart and doing so well…” and then silently mouthed, so only I would see, “It’s her confidence.”
“You know if you’d prefer, you could come down to my class and read to me or even one of my students,” I began.
“Why don’t you and Mrs. H. pick out a book and practice it and then when you feel ready, she’ll email me and we’ll set it up,” I finished.
“Yes!” She exclaimed. This sounded just right.
I work in a big school. It’s easy to forget about all the other students and teachers that aren’t in your room unless they come to visit you. Part of what makes kids love school is knowing we care about them. No doubt Elizabeth knows her second grade teacher adores her (how could she not?), but to see and know that her old has been kindergarten teacher still does just as much as when she bopped down the hall into my classroom everyday, that has to mean something.
It takes us all – truly a village – to educate our sprouts. Of course my number one priority is the education (both academic and social emotional) of the students in my class, but finding time to take care of those in other classrooms is also a vital part of my job. Really, they’re all my sprouts – and that’s a big deal.