It's no secret I'm disillusioned with most teachers these days. Hence why I'm homeschooling 2 of my 3 kids. However, there is a reason that Max is still in school. Today was a very good example.
I got up this morning and took Max to school. I told Ms. Ashe that I would be back shortly with some eggs and candy and such to help get ready for the Egg Hunt and Party. A few of the other moms and I spent the morning stuffing eggs and writing the kids' names on them. 15 eggs per kid was the final tally. We went to lunch with the kids and then proceeded to run out and hide all 330 eggs on the playground and waited for the kids to arrive.
Imagine 22 kids, already excited and anxious, searching for eggs with their names. You'd probably expect at least ONE heated discussion, right? No. They each knew they were supposed to have 15 and would say "I'm missing 2" and another kid would be right there helping them. Lots of calls of "Ohhhh, Maaaaxxxxx" or "Darrian! I think I saw one of yours around here close".
Then we played some games. There was no intense rivalry. It was just fun for them. When one of the kids stepped in fire ants and I put him on my back and ran him into the office, the kids were all helping to make sure none of his stuff got left behind.
When we returned to the classroom, we had some activities set up for the kids. Decorating cupcakes (icing and all), connect-the-dots sheets, graphing with jellybeans and making bunny visors. You would think perhaps there would be some chaos. There was none. The principal even walked in at one point and we were all very proud to see her smile at this well behaved class.
Now, my middle son's former class was always quiet, but that's because they were afraid of their teacher. Ms. Ashe doesn't rule with an iron fist. She's caring and compassionate and helpful. She never gives up on a single kid. There are a few, my Max included, that have some problems. Max's happens to be speech and immaturity. He was just barely 5 when he entered Kindergarten and looking back, I might have waited a year, but I'm so glad I didn't. She hasn't given up on him and now we've gone 6 weeks without a single "Didn't get his work done" day.
I wish she could just follow him through all his years in school. If all teachers were like her, I'd probably re-think homeschooling.
At the end of the day as all the other parents and teachers had these looks of "Calgon, take me away", it was a testament to how great a class we have this year. Sure, I was tired...it was a long day...but I wasn't ready to run and hide. Neither were the other parent volunteers in our class. When you watch kids make a beeline to hug their teacher BEFORE running for the candy and cakes and goodies, you know there's something special about her.
I thank her for enriching the lives of not only 22 kids this year, but also the lives of their families that she has truly touched. I know Max will never forget the great experience he's had this year...and I know I won't either.