Saturday, November 17, 2012

Giving Thanks

The kids were wired Friday.  It was as if their minds had separated from their bodies and were already on Thanksgiving vacation.  It seemed that way all morning, so the end of the day came as a bit of a surprise to me.  I asked my students to join me in writing a paragraph or two about the things they were thankful for this year.  We did just a tiny bit of brainstorming before I turned on our writing music and we all started writing.  I wasn't the first finisher.  I didn't expect to be, but then I didn't expect some of my students to ask for MORE time to write.  Nor did I expect the expression of such sincere thoughts.

After we were finished writing, I shared my paper with the class.  It ended with "Finally, I am thankful that I have this opportunity to share some delicious pumpkin pie with my favorite class."  The kids broke out into a cheer.  As I passed out pumpkin pie with gobs of whipped cream, my students took turns standing up to share their papers with their classmates.  

I just had to share some highlights from a few of the papers:

"I am thankful for my dad because he almost died, but he's still alive.  Without my dad, I might die.  I am happy he is still with me.  He shines like a diamond.  My dad almost died because he goes to dialiss (dialysis) and he was losing a lot of blood from his body.  He was incons (unconscious) in the bathroom because he fell on his head really hard."

"....I am thankful for my sister the most because when we were separated (for foster care), I thought I would never see her again.  She looks out for me and has my back."

"I am thankful for my annoying brother, because without him I would be bored and would have no one to tell on... I am also thankful for nature because it helps our world have different seasons, air to breathe, and the most important thing of all is it gives our world taste and color."

"I am thankful for my mom because she is the one who pushes me and pushes me to try to do my best in school and in life.  If I didn't have her, I would fail in them both."

"I'm thankful for my teacher, Mrs. Tanner, because she helps me with my work.  If I didn't have her, I would not be really smart and I would not know new big words." (Her favorite word this year is obstreperous.)

And me?  Well I'm thankful for having a career that brings kids like these into my life every year.