All of us can find times in our lives that we can act how we want and set our minds and souls forever free, being corny is always been a part of just being me. In my classroom for forty-one years I used that same approach with pretending historical characters to make them become alive to each learner to help and motivate them that each story was more than what was just under the cover.
I would dance and invite them to join when sitting became difficult to do, it brought activity from work to that of play. Little voices with accented I would characterize without breaking the adventure, where students knew that I was truly a one of a kind person and teacher.
Many crazy events that students remember to this day, like losing my slip on the very first day, keeping eye contact with all students, except with the ones sitting in the front whose eyes grew like saucers, knowing what had just happened to me, while the ones in the back focused on what I was saying, before I stuffed the slip into that old book. What a day it was when I received my first padded chairs with wheels, I felt like a queen on a throne, until I opened my drawer and the chair scooted back, and I fell with the drawer landing on top of me. My students and I were laughing and crying at the same time, truly too funny for words.
Times of joy playing football, soccer and tag. Enjoying each activity with them, joined forever in the building or when we are out.
An incentive for reading was if students read two or three books each month or earned so many points with an 80% accuracy earned them one of my home-made cinnamon rolls each month. Students enjoyed them and worked hard to reach their goal, loving each mouthful as they had reached their goal. Amazingly they learned that reading was truly fun and how much they could learn and reading levels to expand.
My favorite thing which I enjoyed the most was taking their first and last names and making them acrostic poems with each letter, printing them and creating plaques which they still cherish today. All focused on the positive aspects of their lives ahead, not by their circumstances, or wealth, but just knowing what was in their heart.
All that ended in the blink of an eye in April of 2012, when my principal told me I would not be getting my contract back for the next year. But if I resigned they would pay part of my health insurance. I would be their first substitute teachers when needed, I have forgiven, but not forgotten. No answer was I given, but the hurt ran deep. My students could see the sadness in me. April through May was the roughest month of my life. That was the last time I entered the building which only lives in my mind.
I know I did the very best that God called me to do. I served him well. I will always have my dignity. I am not ready to go out to pastures, but knocking on the door, for life’s answers. For now you know the truth, and I am free.