This is not going to be a post about freebies, or give-a-ways, or linky parties, or even products that I made. This is just a heart-felt post from one teacher to another (or others.)
We are all just coming back or getting ready to come back from wonderful holiday breaks with family (we started back Wednesday.) And while I won’t deny that I completely needed the stress-free time away from school, I also thoroughly missed my kiddos.. Honestly! It really hit me on Christmas Eve. As I sat there watching my husband and I’s young cousins open present ever present (which they are very appreciative of and well-deserved) I couldn’t help but think of a few of my fourth grade friends. You know the ones. The ones who as you’re hugging them you think this may be the only hug they get all day, so you squeeze extra tight. Or the ones who you casually offer extra words of encouragement, love, and appreciation of who they are because you know they don’t get it as much as the need. And of course the ones who come to school without clean clothes. All of these kids and all of the others you do your best to give them the safe haven of your class room and hope that the love and support you give them will be enough for them to grow into the wonderful person you know they can be.
These are the kids that came to my mind as I sat there on Christmas Eve, surrounded by all of the people who helped guide, nourish, and mold my husband and I into who we are today. How impactful is it to think that you may be the ONLY person who is those things for some of your students?
On our first day back, one of my students approached my desk with the look on his face (you all know the one) that told me he just needed some extra love and attention. So I asked him about his Christmas, and with a sad face he told me of the one gift he did receive, and the sad looks told me of how his Christmas was not what it should be for any kid. I responded to him what a great co-worker of mine had told me, something he said to one of his students. I told him that one day he can change all of this. That he is a bright, loving, and promising young boy, and if he wants it, and works hard, he will have his own family one day. One that he can make his Christmas the way it should be, and give his family the love and nourishment he may not have been given. He proceeded to hug me and return to his seat. He may not fully understand what I was saying to him yet, but I know by the look in his eye it made him think.
And boy, did it make me think. As teachers, we have the opportunity to give the true meaning of Christmas to our kids every single day in our classroom. To teach them to love, care, and to respect. To show them what responsibility is, and what working hard truly means. To show them the meaning of perseverance, dedication, and persistence. To help them realize that they can take the best of themselves, and flourish.
I thank God everyday for this job that allows me to do this (even on the rough days) because not every person gets the same meaningful opportunities.
Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for reading. Let’s make this year a great one!