Thursday, September 4, 2008

Curly Reigns Supreme

And we're back. The arts-and-farts portion (a.k.a. hardcore decoration of classroom) of the program are over and I have a crowd of potential new friends. I say "potential" because I have a (nasty?) habit of not totally vibing with my new class until November-ish. I have never been the teacher who runs home after the first day exclaiming, "They are SO cute!" I mean, they might be cute, but whatever. I am still totally in love with my friends from last year and need to mourn the loss a bit. Plus, re-explaining my routines, the rules, etc gets to be a tad much.

Speaking of my friends from last year, I have a story that will warm your little hearts. Rarely do I promote non-complaining, so enjoy it. Today, as I was yet again explaining our morning routines (somebody just poke me in the eye...), Curly bursts in my classroom door. My heart is literally singing with joy at the sight of all his curls.

Now let's back up a moment. At the end of the year last year, Curly's mom told me that he would be leaving early to go spend the summer with his grandparents in a warm tropical location. I was sad (this kid was/is amazing), but jotted down the date so I could say good bye. He ended up leaving two days ahead of schedule and no one got to say goodbye. Needless to say, I was more sad than I care to admit. Plus, he never returned his book baggie....or the ten books inside it.

OK, back to the present:

Me: "HIIIIII!!"

Him: (running to hug me) "Hi Mrs. Mimi! I missed you!!"

Me: "I miss you too! How are you?" (Clearly I don't care that I am in the middle of teaching....nor do I notice all my current students sitting with their mouths agape, most likely marveling that I can be this nice...I mean, it is the start of a new year and I am doing my fair share of whip cracking.)

Him: "I left early last year and never got to give this back to you." (He holds out his old book baggie...with all ten books still inside.)

Me : (restraining myself from crying) "Oh, Curly...You are such a good boy! Thank you!"

Him: "It's nothing. I've read those books, like a hundred times now!"

And with that, he hugged me and ran out of the room.

Being the professional that I am, I turned to the new child sitting in Curly's old seat and told him he had big shoes to fill. We'll see how the new batch turns out....

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is so awesome! I feel the exact same way about my students! I LOVE when my old students walk by and give me a high five. They don't cry like the new ones when I make a joke (sometimes I forget that 2 days of school is not enough to understand my humor) and they know where to pass their papers in. Oh, how I wish we could move along with the great classes, but then I am happy when a particulary rough class moves on! Enjoy your new students and don't try to compare them too much to your old friends!

lil' kk said...

Your blog posts never disappoint! Once again Curly has come to the rescue and help make the day of not only his teacher but all of us who get a "shapshot" of his life! Hope the weekend is grand!

Robyn said...

I so relate. I had an abandoned student last year in my class that drove me to drink and get gray hairs at what I like to think of as an early age. I literally did a cartwheel on the last day of school last year. My little friend came to give me a hug this morning also (like you, welcoming the break in procedure-talk) and I cried. I couldn't help it. His little face warmed my heart right up. We have the greatest job ever.

Cathy said...

I totally agree that it's hard to let last year's class go...I still have students that come into my classroom and I have to give them a hug and then push them onto their new classes. Getting them back to where you had your class at the end of the year is always fun :)

I'm currently reading a book to my students about all of the yucky stuff because they tend to use their fingers instead of their Kleenexes...it's great! I can't wait to hear what their parents say when they go home and share the new information!

Glad it's off to a somewhat good start!

Dree said...

I always feel bad for my new students in September. I think they can sense my love for last year's group and they know I'm not quite there with them yet. But I do fake it, for their sake. The retraining is the worst part. It takes a good two months until I feel that bond with my new class.

Great story about Curly! I love stories like that! Makes it all worthwhile.

Emily said...

My favorite is when one of my old students forgets that they aren't in my class anymore and they come bumbling into my room. I heart that. :)

Don't feel bad about not vibing with your new crew right away. It's hard to get over our old friends and also it is a pain in the rear to train up these new kids that have replaced our old friends. Yet...we keep signing up for this, year after year.

Tales of a 4th Grade Teacher said...

This has me thinking...maybe I can bribe one of my studetns from last year to brust in and have a "curly" moment with me..then I can steal your line about them having big shoes to fill. I am starting to wonder what kind of hallucinagin I was on when they asked me if I wanted to teach ALL BOYS this year....and I said "YES"..I admit, I was doing some butt-kissing being a new-er teacher and all.
Looking forward to reading about all the adventures in your class this year.

Katie said...

Its so good to read your post and comments because I feel the same way. And its only my second year of teaching, so I wondered if I was alone in missing my class from last year so much.

We've been in school for 3 weeks now and I still feel like I'm standing in front of a group of strangers. I hope it will get better...

They don't get my jokes, they don't know me, they don't have the procedures down yet. ahhhh

Mrs. Such and Such said...

I feel you! I miss my "old" kids a ton. I loop up with my kids from one grade to the next, so after two years, it's especially hard to let them go.

I propose we establish a new system in which certain former students act as ambassadors during the first week of school. They come back to your room to visit and "orient" the newbies. Something like, "look, Mrs. Such and Such is cool, but don't try to talk to her in the morning unless there's already an open Diet Coke on her desk. Oh, and she LOVES it when you tell her how skinny, beautiful, funny, fantastic, amazing, she is."

Robyn said...

by the way, mimi-- i enjoyed the iron chef america reference!
Robyn

alotalot said...

I'm with you. I won't like my new class until I start their report cards and start consciously listing all their good qualities.

Reggie Boppy said...

Curly sounds like a great kid. It's kids like those that keep us teaching, and let's face it, not all students inspire their teachers :) You however inpired me to share my latest classroom funny with my kids on my blog. We really should write these things down more often. Thanks for sharing :)

willow2178 said...

I keep having to remind myself that they start this way every year, but I'm still wishing I had moved up to fourth grade with them! It is hilarious to see the looks of disbelief when my old kids hug me daily in the hallways and come to visit as often as they can (I <3 last years class!). Their hugs are what is keeping me going and giving me hope for this new class lol.

Diane said...

I usually mourn the loss of my friends for the first few weeks of summer, and each year, it takes a bit less time...

I have to say - this year - I fell in love with my new class on DAY 1!! I heard more pleases, thank you's, excuse me's and may I's in that first day than I heard ALL YEAR last year!

What a great start, but I have to admit, my heart sings when I see an old friend in the hallway.

Mesmerized said...

Gosh, this is sweet :)

Emily said...

Wow...okay...now I really feel you here. I started school today, and I miss my old friends! It's certainly not the same at all!! I loved seeing my old friends in the hall today and how they all poked their little heads in to say hi. I guess the only thing that made me feel better was to thin that my old friends started out just where my new potential friends are right now...

Anonymous said...

I am a future teacher and even though I haven't had my own classroom yet I have had many experiences with children returning to say hello. Whether it has been from camp or tutoring or babysitting. It ALWAYS warms my heart to know that a child has missed me. And even more than that, knowing they have thought of me because of course, each one is very special to me. I just love children. They are always surprising me!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh about Curly returning his books, so many kids wind up bringing things home and keeping them over the summer. That's one thing I like about online learning games. When you introduce a child to them, they can learn right from their own computer. Like the games at www.k5stars.com, you can learn reading, math and spelling in a fun and entertaining way.

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