Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The first day

Today was the first day of school, and all day I felt like I should pinch myself when I thought about how lucky I am to be where I am now compared to where I was two years ago at this time. The day got off to the best possible start with an incredibly sweet email from Dreamy:

Finally let me say...GOOD LUCK TOMORROW/TODAY HEATHEN! I am sure the kids will LOVE you! How could they not? First graders can sense a smart, thoughtful, caring teacher when they see one, and Heathen, from what I can tell you've got these qualities in spades. Break a leg!

I thought he might send me a nice email, but this brought a big smile to my face. And it still does every time I re-read it. I am going out with him on Friday before I head to Vermont for Miami Nice's wedding, and I can't wait -- for both the date and the long-awaited wedding.

Then I got a gift -- the Eiffel Tower, of course! Wrapped in a purple ribbon. What else would you give your French immersion teacher on the first day of first grade??

I know my French cousins will roll their eyes, and it IS cliche of course, but so sweet, too. I'll keep it forever.

The kids were darling, despite the overwhelming heat and the overwhelming number of students. A mom ran home and grabbed us a fan, we drank lots of water, and everyone was very good about following directions. I couldn't believe it when I told them to go sit on the rug first thing in the morning, and peeked in a moment later to see all 26 of them, sitting crosslegged and silent, waiting for me to come talk to them!!!

On my drive home I pass through a gritty neighborhood of Boston that contrasts sharply with the town I teach in, and I stopped there to buy band-aids today. As I walked to the pharmacy, I was reminded suddenly of Bed-Stuy, the neighborhood in Brooklyn where I used to teach and live before moving to Boston. My students from two years ago popped into my mind, and I teared up a little bit. Their lives are so incredibly hard, and they are such lovely little people who will always hold a special place in my heart. I wish they could be as lucky as my current students.

No comments:

Post a Comment