This year has come and gone by so quickly. It feels like like last week where I was nervously setting up the classroom knowing soon my students would fill the room with their laughter, worries, excitement, and learning.
When I was in high school, on the first day of school, I would come home and joke, “Only 179 more days!” Every year since then, I eagerly counted down for the summer, some years starting sooner than others. Every year that is except this year. This year, I would think about the end of the year, and I would quickly shake my head. No, no! It can’t be that soon! I don’t want my children to leave me!
Below, I have collected some of my favorite memories with these children as today we say good-bye.
- During the first few weeks of school, we raised crickets. In the middle of my lesson, one child raised her hand and said, “Miss Savides? Uh, the cricket is having a baby!” Of course all focus was then lost as all the children rushed to the cricket cage. We quickly discovered that crickets don’t give birth to live young, but they do molt. And when they do, they are a beige color.
- Then there is the moment that the cricket escaped and the children started shrieking.
- On the first day of school, I gave a teaser that we would be dissecting something this year. Everyone was so excited. Their excitement peaked on the day I announced we would be dissecting that day. They tried guessing. “A cricket!” “A frog!” “A pig!” “A cat!” “Ooo! Ooo! A man!” “No, a flower!” “A flower?!” But they had so much fun that day as they dissected it and discovered so many things about flowers.
- Our field trip to Triple R Ranch–we caught animals in the pond, looked for beekeeping things, and fed an iguana. We also were inspired by Triple R to form our own nature hut in our classroom for our fruitful event.
- The multiple times that we went through our Christmas program song so that the rap would be perfect, and ultimately they made the best rapping shepherds.
- Star Wars Day– Where some students asked me why I was wearing a blonde wig and others squealed in delight, “YOU’RE LUKE SKYWALKER!”
- My room was so clean as the children vacuumed daily for chivalry points. I was so proud of them all for becoming knights.
- Their hard work, creativity, and dramatic ability paid off for a memorable movie, The Medieval Spread of Faith, which even weeks later we would quote portions of it to each other.
- They were so excited to explore Colonial Williamsburg and learn more about the medieval period. And of course no trip to Colonial Williamsburg is complete without learning about road apples (also known as horse droppings).
- One time, Mrs. Stephens came to the room saying that I was sick. She proceeded to act like she had the Black Death. Then in walked this scary-bird like doctor who poked at her with a stick. Of course the children were surprised at first and then said things like, “Miss Savides! We know it’s you because of your shoes!” or “Wow! You should have taken off your watch, Miss Savides!”
- This week, we went around the circle and shared something that we had learned. Every child shared something from history! (a small triumph since only recently I discovered how much I love history, and I had made the personal goal to teach history in an engaging and exciting way without just presenting people and dates).
- Every Friday, they nominated each other for stars of improvement. Their kind and uplifting words were so encouraging. Ultimately, every single one of them made it to the gold level.
- Seeing many of the children all dressed up for Academy Awards. I’m so proud of each and every one of you even if I didn’t get to talk with you at the event.
- During our Roman unit, I introduced them to the various Roman gods. We talked about them and some of their stories. Then I asked them, “What do you think of their gods in comparison with our God?” They shared how they disliked that these Roman gods sinned, but our God is perfect. They talked about how these gods were fake, but our God is alive. They talked about how their gods did not do anything for the people, unlike our God who sacrificed His own Son for us. Wow.
- A student came up to me at lunch and told me she wanted to be saved.
- Yesterday, we went around the circle and shared what God has done this year. They expressed how their faith grew whether through difficult times or waiting for God.
- Before our fruitful event this week, we did a popcorn prayer for our event and the end of the year. Their prayers were so genuine and thoughtful as they prayed for each other and thanked God for the year that they had had. As I listened, I teared up knowing that they have grown so much yes academically but more importantly spiritually throughout this entire year.
Thank you to each and every one of you for making this year so memorable. I could not have done it without your constant support and dedication. Words truly cannot express how thankful I am that God allowed us to spend this year together.