Last Friday was a bittersweet day. As I sealed envelopes, packed up, and turned in keys leaving a school that I worked at for 2 years. It wasn't the typical last week of school for me with parties and nothing to do. I worked more the last week of school than I did all year. Paperwork that is.
Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines... all due by June 15th.
I threw an ice cream party for all the kiddos who participated in speech therapy for the year. It's so funny watching kids and their preference of ice cream. At one point I wanted to shout, "It's a sundae for cryin' out loud, just eat it"!
All in all it was a sweet goodbye to the students I had for 2 years, 6 months, or recently added. They're all special and will be missed.
I knew I wouldn't be at this elementary school forever, but my one and only goal was to touch the lives of these kids in a positive way. I wanted to teach, train, and mold these kiddos into young men and women even if I was only there for a short time.
We worked hard together, some days were rougher than others, but when I pushed them, they knew it was because I knew they could. We talked at speech, and we talked a lot. Some days it would take everything to elicit a sound or word. You'd see me jumping around and praising galore, and at other times I would be so excited I'd cover up my tears of joy and they'd ask, "Teacher Natalie, why do you gots tears?"
They learned what praise was and knowing that it's OK to reward oneself with a snap, crackle, pop. (our handshake)
They learned that to do something great it takes hard work and time- that day will come.
They learned that anything is possible, but you need to allow your powerful brain to go there and just because it isn't easy doesn't mean it isn't possible.
We worked hard, we played hard and we knocked the crap out of the last two years in speech. The kids can feel it, they can feel their improvement and if anything they feel more important as little people.
I was lucky and I am grateful for the awesome teachers I worked with, the school psychologist I shared a room with, the office staff that I bugged to no end, and of course our fabulous principal. A school wouldn't be a school without all of you! So, THANK YOU for teaching me!
Have a great summer!