I had the most amazing day today. It started out average, but it picked up when fourth grade came in. We were watching an animated biography of Abraham Lincoln (as our Friday theme for 4th is "The Hoosier Connection"). It picked up with his leaving Springfield to take up residency in the White House and ended with his death at the hand of John Wilkes Booth. The show itself made me cry--Lincoln gave up so much during his presidency, and his own words are so poignant.
To be honest, I didn't expect much good discussion from the class I had--they tend to be a bit rowdy usually. But I think the story really got to them. We had so much good discussion after the film that we didn't have time to do an activity. A few of them are even excited to learn more about our 16th president, and I got a chance to put to use all the Civil War history I learned while living in Chattanooga.
So I felt like that class period just rocked. Second grade was okay, nothing special. But first grade? Oh! So wonderful.
A few weeks ago, the counselors came in and talked to the classes, with a special emphasis on being kind to one another and on bullying. So today we had a Franklin story about excluding others (for those keeping score at home, it was Franklin and the Secret Club
. After that, the children were to color, and then I was to read Because Brian Hugged His Mother
, a book I love.
Now, I love this particular 1st grade. Half of them are as naughty as anything, but I love them anyway. There's just something about them. So I was already enjoying the class. They saw the story, they started coloring, I read Because Brian Hugged His Mother
. In this story, a little boy hugs his mother, and so she makes him and his sister his favorite breakfast, so his sister helps her teacher and pays him a compliment, et cetera: one good deed inspires another, inspires another, inspires another.
Now, when class is over, I tell the students that if they want to leave work for me to consider hanging in the hall, they may leave it at their place. One of the students came over and said, "Mrs. Rowland, I want you to hang up my picture, but I don't want you to hang up this side." He turned it from the front to the back, and there he had drawn...well, this:
My heart just melted. So sweet!
Then I had a kindergarten class, which followed the same pattern. Only this time, I saw that several students had finished coloring while I was reading the story. So I asked them to turn their papers over and draw something that made them feel loved, or made them feel happy--or something that someone does to make them feel loved and happy (carrying on the theme from the story). I was loving all the pictures--they were so adorable! And then one little boy raised his hand and showed me a paper with a stick figure and lots of little circles. I imagined it to be someone blowing bubbles, but before he could speak, he said, "This is you reading to us, because when you read us a story, I feel happy."
I said, "Oh, that's so sweet!" And I was turning away when he said, "Mrs. Rowland, I love you!"
I think that sometimes God gives me a special gift of good days that fill up my heart with goodness. I'll be holding onto this one for a while.