I am participating in Alphabet Thursday today. This week the assignment is the letter S. On this last day of the school year with the children, S represents sniffles and sadness for me. Every year I marvel at the new group of Students put in my care. I always wonder how I could possibly get a better group of students ....but I always do.  I can't get over how leaky the ceiling gets at this time of the year. We have a special moving up ceremony for each grade level and give out awards. The parents come back to the room to get their child's report card. I had a terrible case of the sniffles as I stuffed these in each report card envelope with the letter below for each student. I also included a letter for the parents. Any of you teachers out there are welcome to copy it.


You're a very special person,

And we wanted you to know.

How we loved to be your teacher,

How fast the weeks did go!

Please come back to visit us

As through the grades you grow,

Try hard to learn all that you can

There is so much to know!!

Remember all the fun we had

in all the things we did,

But most of all remember...

You're a very special kid!
Thanks for the memories!

Mrs. B and Mrs. K
Kindergarten 2009-2010

Dear Parents, 
I give you back your child, the same child you confidently entrusted to our care last fall. I give her back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature than she was then.
Although she would have attained her growth in spite of me, it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch her personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.
I give her back reluctantly, for having spent nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other, and we shall always retain a little of each other.
We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give her back I must. Take care of her, for she is precious.
Remember that I will always be interested in your child and her destiny, wherever she goes, whatever she does, whoever she becomes. Her joys and sorrows I will always be happy to share.

Much Love,
Mrs. B

I also make a CD of all of the pictures I take for the school year and give it to the parents. This year a parent offered to do the CDs for me which I thought was really sweet.

Many people decide to become a teacher due to the influence of a person. That wasn't the case with me.  I remember the moment I decided what kind of a teacher I wanted to be.  I watched the film Cipher In The Snow when I went to a seminar at my university sponsored by the education department. The film is based on a  true story written by Jean Mizer entitled Cipher in the Snow.  This is the story that inspired me to be the best teacher I could be.

The story is about an ostracized teenager named Cliff. Following his parents' divorce, Cliff becomes withdrawn and has no friends. He literally becomes a "cipher". 

The film begins with a tragedy on a snowy February morning. A teacher was driving behind a school bus when the bus suddenly veered off the road at a hotel. A boy stumbles out of the bus and falls over in the snow. The teacher jumps out of his car to help but the boy is dead. The bus driver tells the teacher that the boy never complained about feeling bad. Instead, he apologized to the driver and asked to be let out of the bus at the hotel. The driver and teacher are shocked that the boy is dead.

Back at the school, the teacher informs the Principal of the boy's death. The Principal asks him to notify the boy's parents and write his obituary for the school paper. The teacher learns that he was the boy's favorite teacher which shocks him because he hardly knew him.

At the boy's home, his mother tells the teacher that the boy never said a word about feeling bad. The stepfather tells the teacher that the boy had never spoken to him since he moved in. The teacher learns that the stepfather had made the boy's life miserable.

The teacher goes back to school to try to learn more about the boy. from his records In the boy's records, the teacher reads "slow learner, won't talk, uncooperative.." written by his third grade teacher but his IQ score reads 106. The score dropped below 100 after seventh grade. He tries to find ten teachers or students to attend the funeral that knew the boy, but no one even knew him well enough to go.

The teacher sits and ponders how many times the boy had been chosen last?  Even timid children are resilient. It takes time to break them. How many times had the boy been told "You are a nothing!" It dawns on the teacher that when there was finally nothing left at all for the boy, he collapsed on a snow bank and went away. The teacher resolves never to let this happen to any student of his.

I had already made the decision to become an elementary school teacher when I watched the movie. What changed for me after watching the film was what Kind of teacher I wanted to be. Seeing the boy literally die of loneliness,  I decided that I wanted to be a teacher that took an interest in ALL children, especially those that few people cared about. I have never forgotten Cliff in my thirty-four years of education. Each year, I have welcomed every new class with the silent promise that I would do everything I could to make a positive difference in each child's life. These little folks spend more time with me than they do with their own parents during the week. I owe it to them to make learning fun and show them that I genuinely care about them.

On Thursday, another school year will end. My students will move on but each will still have a special place in my heart. For some reason, the ceiling leaks in my classroom on the last day of school EVERY year. Well, that's my explanation for my wet cheeks....and I am sticking to it!

Every year I have a budding author ceremony in May complete with a "red carpet". The children each write their own book and then have the opportunity to read it to their parents, grandparents and friends. They were bubbling with excitement last Tuesday in anticipation of this event. Here are some examples of  the front covers of their books:

Here are two of my little charges reading their books and receiving their "award". 

The parents clapped for each child after they finished reading. Next,  they received an award before walking over and  presenting their book to their parent or friend. We concluded with  a reception of punch and cookies. The children had a great time and the parents were so proud! It really demonstrated how much the children learned over the course of the school year.

Here are a few examples of the books they wrote. I have written them down the way the child actually wrote the book:

The Magic Dress

One day a little girl went to the shop to buy a dress for a party. She loved a gorgeous purple sparkly flower dress. She tried it on and it fitted. She flew to the zoo and saw the monkey. She flew to the sea and saw the dolphins. She flew to the party but she did not tell her friends as it was her secret. She had lots more magic adventures in her magic dress.     The End

Lindsay's Garden

Where are we said Jelly Bean? How did we get here? said Sugar Baby? The two Robo dwarf hamsters had gotten out of their cage. I am in the city- there is a skyscraper, said Jelly Bean. No, we are at the airport, said Sugar Baby. Jelly Bean and Sugar Baby ran for miles and miles and fell in the ocean. I am hungry said Jelly Bean. Come over here, Brother.  There are tons and tons of hamster treats just for us. The hamsters start to cry for home and they thought the garden fairy was saying "Let's go this way." But is was really Lindsay whispering " I found you two!"

The Cow That Learned To Fly

Mootiful is a cow that grew wings. She flipped and flopped her wings and learned to fly. Mootiful flew to the barn. Blackspot the horse, Porker the Pig, and Buck the goat grew wings too. Mootiful taught them how to fly. All the animals flew to the fair. They had fun eating ice-cream and lollipops. The End