Monday, March 9, 2015

Gifts from the heart.

I don't accept praise well.  It makes me uncomfortable.  Part of this is probably rooted in my desire to do my job to the best of my ability, and hope not to step on any toes on the way. It's my job, I expect the most of myself, and don't expect accolades.   After all, don't I expect "best of their ability" work from my students?  

The same can be said about gifts.  I feel like I do not adequately express my gratitude for the things given to me, often second-guessing and and mentally kicking myself for not being more outwardly genuine about how much personal gestures mean to me.  Over the weekend, I was recognized by the East Petersburg Lions and Region 9 of NHD for my work with students in the competition.  It was a total shock, and a wonderful surprise.  It also lead to a day of embarrassment in the former of kudos and congratulations from my colleagues, both in person and in writing.  Honestly, the same award could have gone to any other teacher in the room, or in the school, and I am blessed to have been the recipient.  This whole experience got me to thinking about how I receive gifts and praise for what I do.

Gifts from the Heart.

In addition to my assignments at the junior high and high school, I also have the pleasure of working with a small group of first graders.  Unlike me, first graders are outwardly expressive about everything, and often can hardly contain their enthusiasm.  I thrive on their energy, and truly look forward to getting down on the floor and exploring the world from a different perspective than the secondary level students.  After a four day weekend, (due to two snow days), I scrambled to fit some time in with my little friends.

Boy, am I glad that I did!  I was greeted by many excited people.  One held my hand in the hallway.  (It's been a very long time that THAT happened at school!)  And another designed an entire comic book for me.

The story, inspired a bit by Captain Underpants' adventures, was filled with tales of wedgies, jipsys (sic), and potions.  The use of exclamation points, commas, and quotation marks was impeccable.  The story was fabulous, and included a snack break suggestion.    

There were author's notes, warning me that the scary part would be over soon, and that I would giggle on the next page.  This kid knows me well -- I am not a fan of scary stories, and I truly love comedy.

It was easy to be happy today -- it was 57 degrees, the sun was shining, and the snow was melting.  In addition to the snow, a warm hand in mine, and a very personalized comic book, warned my heart in a way unimaginable, causing me to wonder if people in other professions have any idea how amazing a gift from the heart of a student can be.


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