|19 of 31 at Two Writing Teachers!|
"Aw, you didn't have to..." I assured her as I dug into the bag. (My husband will be the first to tell you that I tear into presents like a ravenous carnivore disemboweling its prey... as opposed to his family members, who gingerly loosen the tape and ribbons as if they are performing a risky surgery!)
I skimmed the card and grinned without really letting the words sink in. "Thanks!" I nodded, but I knew I'd have to re-read it later. (For someone who loves words, I sure get preoccupied with the gift... I think it's just the anticipation of discovering a hidden treasure! I've always thrown the card aside until the present has been revealed. It's not that I don't value cards, I just can't concentrate on them while there's a SURPRISE taunting me!)
"Ooh, it feels book-y!" I wiggled as I felt a pliable rectangle under the tissue paper. Aw, a writing notebook, yay...
A word at the bottom of the cover caught my eye.
One little word.
MY one little word!
|Wow, right?! The pen matches too, with "spark" on one side & the colors on the other!|
I ran my hands over the cover and the paper, savoring that crisp, creamy new-notebook-fresh-start-iness. Then I flipped it over to the back cover, hoping to see what company she'd used to make it. Instead, the present just got better:
|<3 <3 <3|
"Well, you're a writer... and one day I saw your word in one of your posts, or maybe on your desktop background... and I thought of it," she said sheepishly. "I've just learned so much from you... this experience has been so much better than I ever hoped... You're like, the best teacher I've ever seen!" As she chattered, I read her card more carefully. Now it was my turn to be sheepish.
My classroom won't be the same without her eager, bright eyes and thoughtful questions. My students will miss her patient kindness and her positive, authentic teaching style that's so much like mine. I will miss our honest, reflective discussions about teaching, learning, and life.
I'm humbled and honored that my small sparks have helped make her a better teacher, and I'm so excited when I think of how her sparks will change the lives of so many ELL readers and writers in the future.
30 hours of observation doesn't sound like much, but it's plenty of time for sparks to fly.