Well, it's that time of year again.
The time of year when students are sick of each other, students are sick of Teacher, and Teacher is sick of students.
I'm there. My kids are there. We've been there for a few weeks now. But there are still shining moments...
It is also that time of year for assessments.
Long gone are the days when Kindergarten was all fun and games. My kids are expected to read, write, add, and subtract. Every year there are kids that shock me with what they managed to learn during the school year. I love teaching Kindergarten because I don't feel like I teach them a whole lot, but then one day they manage to read you a book. After five years, I'm still not sure how they actually learn to read.
I have one little guy that I'm so proud of that I can't help but brag about him here. He was not dealt the easiest home life. His mom struggles to make ends meet. Before he entered my class this year, he was one of *those* kids that you hear about ahead of time. I was warned about him. I was warned about his behavior, lack of attention and self-control, and, despite being in a preschool program, had managed to learn next to nothing.
When he came into my room he still could not write his name and his letters more closely resembled an uncontrolled scribble than English. He was a handful.
Today he came in for his end-of-the-year testing and he is leaving Kindergarten "on grade level" in reading, writing, AND math. His behavior is good -- he still struggles with self-control now and then, but he's good. He's generally polite. He genuinely cares about other people. I don't take any credit for any of this, he has been greatly blessed with an amazing mom.
She kicked out his bad-influence father so that her son could have a better life. She has held her child to seriously high standards academically and worked with him at home more than any parent I have had in my class -- because she knows how hard life is when you drop out of school. She has put her own aspirations aside to make sure he has a steady home-life. She takes him to the boys' club to make sure he stays active and is able to get his energy and aggression out in a productive way.
Today I had the pleasure of showing her exactly how far he has come. She whipped tattered flash cards out of her coat pocket that she made and has been working on him with. She downplays her role in his success, but I admire her.
A few hours later my student came knocking on my door with a mother's day card in his hand. For me. From him and his mom.
I just hope that I can be as good of a mom to my son as she is to hers.