Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Smile a Day

This is my eighth year teaching 1st grade. Each year you get a whole new mix of kids. While you never know exactly what you are going to get, you can pretty much bet there will be a few "challenging" kiddos.

This year as expected, I have some challenges. I have one student in particular (I'll call him "M") who tries my patience daily. After the first meeting with this boy's father I realized that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

When the kids get out of school at the end of the day, sometimes someone is there to pick him up, but not always. On the days that no one is there to pick up M I take him to the office and try to call his dad. I usually can't get a hold of him and when I actually do get a hold of M's dad he doesn't care that he is late. He'll get there when he gets there. Some days picking up his son on time just isn't convenient.

M is very open and loves to tell stories about his family. I hear all about his father's gambling addiction and the fights between him and his girlfriend. I know more about that family than I want to know!

Even though M is a tough kid you can't help but to love him. He can't help the environment he is raised in or the fact that he knows and has seen things no 6 year old should. He is smart and I have seen the good in him many times!

This morning I picked my students up from the playground like I do every day. As we were walking to our classroom M came running up to me. He had a balloon animal (a green poodle to be exact) in his hand and he was grinning from ear to ear. He handed it to me and said "this is for you! My brother helped me make it." I loved it! And it must have been obvious to him because I don't think I've ever seen that boy smile so big. He just looked so happy.

It's moments like this that remind me of why I became a teacher. I love the moments that make me just stop and smile.


  1. Ah....that's so sweet. What a blessing it is for "M" that you are his teacher...and what a blessing it is that you have the opportunity to truly savor the innocent, most precious moments life has to offer.

  2. Ahhhhh...this made me tearful. You are both lucky indeed :)

  3. So sweet!! You sound like a great teacher. I feel sorry for the environment "M" is being raised in.

  4. I sure hope that your parents know how blessed they are to have a teacher such as yourself! It's great that you are so compassionate to "M", you may be a changing force for him, it's teachers like you with patience and inderstanding that kids like "M" need. Hang in there!