Proud Moment

I remember the time my daughter, without prompting, asked, “Mom, do we have any thank you notes?” For years, I had asked my children to sit down and write thank you notes when they received something, but this time it was her idea. It was one of those little proud moments moms love.

Last night I had this same kind of moment with two of my students. When a child leaves our classroom (which happens a lot in the ebb and flow of the distance learning classroom), we’ve developed a farewell routine where we make that child a Jamboard card. I start the virtual card with my own note to the child and a picture or two of something they love. Then I share the Jamboard with the students and they add beautiful notes and pictures. They’ve gone a bit wild lately adding pages and pages of images and notes, so now we limit it to three notes and three pictures. It makes a beautiful celebration as the child of honor watches the pages fill with kind notes and sweet images, all thoughtfully selected based on what they know and love about this child.

Recently I’ve learned that my position will be changing. Due to the fact that so many students are returning to school and my class size is now dipping below 5, the decision has been made to transition my students to another first grade distance learning classroom and return me to my literacy coach role. As thrilled as I am to be returning to the work I love and need to be doing, I’m heartsick about leaving these children and their families. We’ve been pioneers together through this uncharted land. We’ve grown close. I called my families and broke the news. I talked with my students. We’ve spent time this week talking, adjusting, and planning for the transition.

Last night when I opened my email, I noticed that there were emails from the twins. It’s rare for me to receive email from my first grade students, so I opened them right away. As I clicked on the links, Jamboards appeared. I’m going to miss you so, so, so, so much, said one sticky. There were pictures of giraffes and elephants and dogs (my favorite animals and pet), and ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream, and beautiful notes.

It was one of those little proud moments teachers (well maybe humans) love.

19 thoughts on “Proud Moment”

  1. Change is always hard but you’ve given these students a way to have closure to the changes in such a positive way! They’ve learned that it feel good inside to make others feel good and writing can be used to express their love! What a priceless gift!

  2. Your story is so, so, touching I am moved to tears. Of course your student made you a jamboard!
    This story shows such love and strong community. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with the transition.

  3. What a beautiful tradition you’ve created in the midst of so much that is new and uncertain! I find teaching so interesting this year because in some ways I know my students so much less than I ever have before, but in other ways we are so much closer, and I think it’s because we are all in uncharted territory figuring it out together as we go.

  4. What a beautiful thing – I love that your firsties did that for you! I was also plucked from my coaching position to be in the classroom this year. I would be equally devastated to leave my kiddos. Hang in there and I hope you get lots of wonderful coaching moments to wrap up the year!

  5. I LOVE when our modeling becomes practice….that is when we know we really made a difference…and you did…and do.

  6. What a sweet, sweet moment! Just lovely. The way that you’ve crafted this post by beginning with your own daughter, illustrates the connection you’ve formed with your students. Beautiful writing, beautiful story!

  7. This is so sweet. I adore that your first-grade twins wrote you a note to tell you how much they will miss you.

    I truly love the idea of doing a Jamboard card every time someone leaves the remote class. What a special way to make them understand that their presence with you mattered.

  8. So sweet. You taught them that their words can be gifts and they took it upon themselves to give back to you. What a beautiful way to remember this unusual time.

  9. Ah, this is so precious. Yes, you have spread the love and community in this uncharted time of teaching online. I bet you didn’t anticipate that by this time in March you would be preparing to go back to your position as literacy coach. Such are the changes during this crazy year.

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