The MOST Important Thing

Before I go on with the rest of the topic at hand, I do have to share a few of the finished products from yesterday's painting. They came out great!

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand."

If you've paid attention to my blog, you may have noticed that in between some of the fun and creative posts, every so often there's some sweet and reflective posts. Today is one of those. 

Ever since I saw this post at First Grade a la Carte! using the basic idea of The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown (which, if you have not read it for yourself or to your students, you must go find it before the end of the year and do so!) I have been in a reflective mode about the most important thing about first grade. This book has long been one of my favorites. In fact I have used it for a couple of different lessons throughout the year. Tomorrow, since we have been doing little creative projects each day this week (go here to see yesterday's paintings, and today we started making homemade Shrinky Dinks, remember those?) I believe I will have them complete the page from First Grade a la Carte! and compile a book. 

However, if you remember from previous posts here and here as of now I will not be back at my school next year because of the way the hiring worked this school year and that two of my amazing coworkers had asked to borrow my entire class yesterday morning. Well, with three classes in the know of what was happening I was utterly impressed at the secret keeping that took place.

Today I was gifted with this:

They did this with my kids, had them each write why they love me, took the most adorable pictures of them, collaged it all with some quotes, and framed it. This is beyond anything I could have imagined. Yes, when I was an assistant in a private school we had room moms and they did wonderful things for us at the holidays and the end of the year. Even in the 2007-2008 the teacher I worked with, as her assistant took an art project I did with the kids and framed it for me as my end of the year gift. On the back of the frame each child wrote what they would miss about me. 

What I received today though was made for me from the hearts and idea of two teachers who I teach with on a team, but not with in a classroom. We support one another throughout the days and weeks, but we are not in one another's rooms. However, without them, I don't know if I would make it through. And it is true, they know my class best (it is even their names in my sub plans in case of an emergency saying exactly that). But what teachers actually take the time out of their days during the last week of school to do this? I have never been a part of something like this and while I am sad to leave it behind the fact that I got to experience it and be a part of it is perhaps the most important thing. 

from top going clockwise: "I like Ms. Cohn because she is cool and she is smart, but the thing she is really good at is teaching"; "I love Ms. Cohn because she takes us outside"; "I love Ms. Cohn because she goes crazy."; I like Ms. Cohn because she gives us math."

It's great to see what each child wrote, because those are the most important things to them. We never know how what we do will touch a child and affect them. 

Remember each day never to underestimate the most important things we do, sometimes without knowing it, whether it's for a coworker, a child, or a family member, and sometimes if we're really lucky we're blessed to experience the friendship as well. 

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