Before I taught 3rd grade, I taught Kindergarten. This year, I have some of my Kindergärtners in my 3rd grade class. I love to hear them read or read their writing and think about the time when they couldn’t write their name. Or when they wrote, “I wnt craping” for “I went camping”.
But mostly, I love that I get to see how they’ve grown up. To see their personalities come out. I love watching them be a good friend and learn to be successful people.
What I love about 3rd grade is that they are still really fun kids. They still have a thirst for knowledge without all the sass of being ten. I love that they are old enough to get my jokes, I don’t have to tie their shoes (usually) and they’re just the right age to have a good teacher-student relationship. As a teacher, I hope that all my kids love learning. I hope that I make learning fun. And above all else, no matter what’s going on outside of school, I want them to know they matter.
Monday was the Valentine’s Day party. Like usual, I had a pile of red hearts, cards, candy and flowers on the top of my desk. One student even got me tulips-my favorite flowers! I really have a sweet class.
But my favorite Valentine was not for me, but for Rob.
I’m not sure how, but somehow last year, Rob became known as “The New Yorker” among my students. The nickname has stuck again this year. Although they know he has a real name, they still call him that. They know my name will be Mrs. Zanetti. But when questioned, I was told that my vows would be “Miss Goebel, do you take The New Yorker”. One intelligent student replied, “We know her name is Karrie.”
Jake is one of my students from Kindergarten. There’s something nice about having a student a second time. The bond is deeper. And Jake proved that on Valentine’s Day. During the busy minutes of passing out Valentine’s, Jake came up and said, “I made one for The New Yorker, where should I put it?”
How precious is this?
That’s right. A very manly Transformer Valentine. You should have seen Jake’s smile when I told him The New Yorker couldn’t wait to use his new Tron pencil at work.
Jake matters to me. And with a simple Valentine, I know that I matter to Jake. It’s the little things that make teaching rewarding.
* Picture and story printed with Jake’s (and his mother’s) permission.*