For those of you who don't know, my entire class was together last year in Kindergarten. My principal decided to try it as an "experiment" to see how it worked out. It is sort of like looping, but without their teacher. They are a very sweet group and the perfect group to try this with. So far, it has been kind of crazy. They have been together for so long that they are starting to do things that most kids don't do until the end of the year. Such as: pick on each other, complain and whine about silly things, and just be annoying to each other. It has really worn down my patience. And now I am wondering....what is going to happen in May when these things normally happen. I am a bit worried to find out....
But, I digress.
Today, we were talking about Thanksgiving. I had read a story to them about the first Thanksgiving and what had happened to the Pilgrims. It was a long story and I could tell that I would be loosing their attention soon. So, I quickly finished the story and said "Did you know that Thanksgiving is always on the last Thursday in November?" Of course they replied with "Really?! Always?" And so I said: "Yes, every year of your entire life, Thanksgiving will always always always be on the last Thursday of November. Abraham Lincoln made that a rule."
Out of nowhere... this little boy says "Mrs. Gagley, do you think we will always be together?" (talking about them always being in the same class.) I thought this was a great question since this is all they know in their education career so far.
I replied "Well, what do you think?" After thinking for a minute, he said "Well, I guess we are going to have to be in different classes sometime." I agreed and we talked about how we would probably not always be in the same class. Most of the kids had a sad face when they realized that they would not always be together.
A little girl raises her hand and says "But, we will always be together in friendship."
And then another chimes in with "And...we will always be together in our hearts."
I just about cried. Seriously. Tears started to well up. It was by far the sweetest thing that I have heard come out of a child's mouth. It was so cute and innocent. After they heard this, the class cheered up and agreed with their friend's cute little statement. They talked about how they were always going to be friends even if they weren't in the same class. Some even said "I will be your friend even in college!"
So, yes, this class certainly needs a break from each other...but, after that sweet moment I think all of the stress and annoyances went away and we all realized that we are like a family.
Moments like that are why I would never want to do anything else. I love teaching....even if there are days when I think "Oh my! How am I going to make it?!" Or... "They are being SO annoying right now! We need a break from each other."
I think God was sending me a little message today. Maybe I need to take less time to focus on what little behaviors are annoying me and take more time to be THANKFUL for my little first grade "family". Because even first graders know what it means to "be together in friendship." :)