Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Saying Good-bye to my Students

I always hate the end of the year.  Especially saying goodbye.  The kids are not into that sort of thing.  Some were angry today because they had to finish some presentations.  Others were busy saying good bye to their own friends whom they will not be moving on with to High School, and didn't want to be bothered with anything else.  It was a mixed bag.   I also had some students ask to come and spend more time with me.  I should have let them come, but the classroom was full.  I was going to have them later anyway.  Then I had those students who were so happy to tell me "Ms. Vazquez, I won't have to go to summer school!" and I shared their joy. Then I had that quiet student, who waited for everyone to leave so he could come and give me a big hug! It makes me cry just to remember seeing him bound across the room.  Then there was a student named Josey (not her real name of course)  who asked to come to my class and help me. She spent the period going over some brochures.  When she gave her presentation earlier in the day, I stopped the presentation just to ask her how long she had been in the United States? (I knew the answer, of course.)   I did so because she had read a paragraph in English and she did it very well.  So when she softly answered, "One year, " all the other kids applauded realizing all the effort she had put in.  I also added, how far she had come in this one year in the United States, and told her how proud I was of her, too.  Later she came back just to help out.  I think she just wanted to spend a little bit more time with me. It was sweet.

Josey was in fact one of many who helped me today to sort papers, recycle others, clear off bulletin boards, pack boxes, remove staples from the wall, and empty cabinets. There were so many.  I am so thankful.  The day flew by.

I did do the cookie coupon thing but instead of cookies I gave them Brownies... or at least that was my intention because it turned out that they ran out of Brownies and instead sent me a bagful of other goodies that my students gobbled down.  All in all it was a good day but you just don't want to say goodbye.  But I did, and it was bittersweet.

I have to add this... there was one particular student who was especially kind to me all year and super helpful, and when he was coming back from lunch I stopped him and told him how much I had appreciated him in my class. He was so helpful he often got in the way which was amusingly annoying but I am so glad I told him.  He smiled. No he didn't just smile, he beamed.  So did Josey, now that i think about it.

And now I smile knowing I did the right thing, too!

Just Minding my Own Business

Driving home after having been held back at work because of a conversation with a friend, I encountered more traffic than I expected.  I found myself on the last stretch of the busy Curry Ford road.  It was the last curve before reaching Alafaya, where there is a turning lane on the left to go to the strip mall where the Walmart Neighborhood store is located.  On the right is the entrance to the Bank of America.  Well, a man in a faded red Lumina decides he wants to risk killing himself and someone else by making a reckless U turn into oncoming traffic without stopping to guage if he had time to do so. After screeching on the brakes and blaring my horn,  I survived.  In what seemed like an eternity, he pulled his car into the far left turning lane and he slowly pulled his car to the front.  I pulled my forward on the middle lane. I observed him long enough to notice that he was an older man perhaps in his mid forties or fifties with his sweaty long hair tied back in a rubber band. Life was cheap for him.  I guess that was his thrill ride for the day.

It made me think. What did I do wrong? You might be thinking, it was his fault, but I think I was going too fast. I better slow down.  I knew I was running a little late to let my dog out, but the hurry was not worth it.   I was going pretty fast around that somewhat blind curve. He was being casually or perhaps deliberately careless.  I was going too fast. A perfect combination for a crash.  He could have cared less as he calmly took a drag from his cigarette.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Se me Prendio la Bombilla

That means that I got a good idea.  Literally, though, it means a lightbulb turned on for me.  What idea? What Lightbulb? Well, my students have been helping me in a big way to pack up all my things so that I can move to another classroom in the school.  I am delighted.  For the first time, I am going to have a lot of things ready before the end of the school year starting with my lesson plans.  I just finished writing them. Check. I have my IPDP 3/4 of the way done, almost check.  I have to correct and put in only three more grades. Part of them are partially corrected, one set will be corrected by scantron, and  the other is being corrected by a rubric which makes it infinitely easier to correct.   I actually think I will be through on time.  Yes I will have to do a lot of sorting later in the week, once I am home, but I can do it according to my pace.  Kids have been so sweet.  I have to tell them tomorrow.  So since crunch time began my extremely long list has gotten shorter, thanks to the kindness of my students and the cooperation of the administration as well.  For my students I plan to print out a free cookie coupon for each one of them and that way reward them for all their help.  Very excited about doing something nice for these very kind students. Very thankful as well!