Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thank FULL

Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers!
"I love godmother"

"💕 THANK YOU 💕 "

"Dear Mama, Thank you for loving me..."

My heart does a few flips in my chest as I glance around the table at the thank-you cards my beginner ELLs are making for people they are thankful for. "Aww, your people are going to LOVE these!" I squeal, and the warmth spreading through my body grows as I peer closer over their shoulders.

"Thank you for supporting me in everything..."

"I appreciate when you listen to me..."

"I am grateful for your patience even when I am unruly"

"I love when we talk in the kitchen..."

The language teacher in me is excited that they're doing a great job applying the sentence structures and vocabulary from my mini-lesson, but the so-much-more-than-language teacher in me wants to skip across the room. My kids are the absolute sweetest. They do not have all the words they need, but they are not afraid to try to say exactly what is in their hearts.

The bell is about to ring, and I want to hug them all, wishing I could see each of them give these cards to the special people in their lives, when H. waves me over to her seat. "Mrs. M, how do you spell your name?" And in case my heart couldn't get any fuller, she fills my name into the blank space she had left after "Dear" and hands her card to me.

There is no better feeling than knowing that your students see you exactly as you hope they do.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In person

Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers!
"I voted on Saturday."
"I mailed mine in weeks ago."

Around the lunch table yesterday, it seemed like hardly any of my colleagues were going to vote in person today. Everyone did their civic duty, but in their attempts to avoid lines and crowds, I think they missed out on the magic.

When I was little, my mom always made a big deal out of taking me to vote with her. We'd go inside the little blue cloth stall and excitedly close the thick, velvety curtain behind us. Firmly, with purpose and enthusiasm, she would push the switches to select her chosen candidates, telling me how important and special this process was. I don't remember exactly what she said, but I definitely remember walking away, voting stickers on our shirts, with a sense that we had done something BIG.

"I just love going on Tuesday to push those buttons myself!" I tried to convey to my colleagues the impression my mom gave me on all those Tuesday trips to the little blue stalls.

And so, as I unbuckled Sweetie from her carseat this afternoon, I put some extra sparkle in my eyes. "We're going to vote, Sweetie!"
"Vote! We're going to vote for the president!" I swung her onto my hip, straightened her stars-and-stripes dress, and marched up to the "VOTING TODAY" sign.

The poll workers oohed and ahhhed as they swiped my ID. "What a cutie! She looks so patriotic!" Beaming, they got her a sticker and grinned when she tenderly patted it as I put it on her dress.

No heavy blue curtains or metal switches anymore, but the touchscreen machine certainly got Sweetie's attention as soon as I started to push my selections. As it chortled and chirped, spitting out the little paper on the side, she wiggled and giggled against me, pointing her tiny finger back and forth between the screen and the paper.

"See, that was fun, right?" As soon as I touched the final green button, I pushed my forehead against hers, squeezing her tight. "Your first presidential election!"