Monday, June 6, 2011

1 Day Left: Treasure Bags and an Award

For the last several years I have given the kids a treasure bag to be stored where they store their other treasures.  When you team teach and have aides, it is rare to have time alone with your kids.  This is a time that I plan just for and the kids. 
Inside the little treasure bag is a paper that says:
In this bag you will find a ROCK to remind you how hard you worked this year.  You will find a FEATHER to remind you to fly high to reach your dreams.  There are two small STARS to remind you to always be the best you can be....shine your light for all to see.  The HEART is to remind you how very much I love you.  Take care of yourself and each other (share the cookies) and never foget that I will ALWAYS be here for you.    Love, Mrs. Lohr.
I pick their name stick for the last time, write I love you on the back and they get to pick a treasure bag and take their stick home... the stick that has gotten them chosen all year.

The note was written on the back of this yummy paper. 
Little Red Riding Hood was taking chocolate chop cookies to her grandma.

They were quiet and purposeful with this.  Each took it to put in a safe place in their backpack.

Today was also Awards Day.   Each year, each teacher gets to choose one student to receive the Merit Student Award.  It is not for academic or athletic excellence.  It is for effort and progress and good faith.  I love giving this award to a deserving student each year.  Here is the essay I wrote for this year:

My merit student has made a total and dramatic tranformation this year.  From a child who had to be carried into the school crying to one who comes willingly by himself and with joy most days.  From a child who could not deal with any frustration to one who can laugh his way back to happy these days.   From a child who would not socialize with adults or peers to one who tells some of the worse jokes in the world and enjoys them so much himself that you can't help but giggle with him.  From a child who couldn't really read or write to one who is right on level and learning more each day...
From dark into light...
From sad into happy...
From there to here....
Congratulations, with love, to Wyatt!

OK.  So, I was crying while our guidance counselor was reading this.  The guidance counselor was choking up, my photographer was crying....
And now that you have dried your few little tears let me tell you a little bit more.  While the essay was being read, I was watching Wyatt.  Immediately when he heard the part about the worst jokes in the world he pointed to himself.  He knew it was about him and the grin began.  When they said his name he jumped up and came to claim his prize.  As we sat through the rest of the program he clasped his medal between his hands and the grin continued.   The classmates sitting around him congratulated him and were happy for him.  They know how much he grew this year.   Need another tissue?

Now, for the rest of the story.  Wyatt's mom called this evening to tell this story.  When she picked Wyatt up from daycare, she asked if he showed them his award.  He hadn't because I told him not to get it out until he got home.  She said he could show it so he got it out and showed them.  When they asked why he got the award he just smiled.  His mom told him to tell them why he got the award.  He grinned big and said, "Because I tell the worst jokes in the world!"

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

That ranks right up there with this:
When we were making the clay creations on the Luau day, one of the girls wanted to make a Hawaii biscuit.  What??  You know...the flower of Hawaii...the Hawaii biscuit.  Oh, you mean the hibiscus?  Yeah, the hibiscuit.

And they had a little party after school for those of us who are retiring from KES this year...good cake, good punch, good friends and some hilarious songs!


  1. You sure know how to bring the tears...and then dry them up quickly! Lol. Sweetness. . .

  2. Ahhhhhhh more tears!!! I am soo happy that I got to be there to see him get his award. I think he is so deserving of this award - I am amazed at how much a person can change in that amount of time - with just the right teachers. :D

    I doubt he has any idea just how lucky he is to have had you and Stevie to nurture and give him the tough love and patience that he needed to make him thrive. It really was a transformation and I'm glad I've been able to witness it from the beginning.

    I'm not sure I would be any more proud if he were my own child!

  3. I read this out loud to Chaz. The thing about this countdown is that your retirement is not going to be an anti-climax. Every one of these days gleams like a fine pearl. Every one of them is a treasure worth remembering for an eternity. Every one of them is retiring from the field with honor, love - having left behind you great gifts of joy and love. You are doing this SO right. I've said it before: what a woman. What a mother. What a teacher.

  4. Autumn, you can use all my, too, Ashley.
    Connie, thanks for sharing the adventure and loving them, too.
    Kristen, the best part of this whole job has always been each day and the magical moments therein. Sadly, there were some days that the frustrations outweighed the magic...
    But the love is stong and remains.

  5. Oh, dang it - now I need a tissue. Tears, tender tears. And tears of laughter. I LOVE the stories you share, when I can read them through the tears. I wish all teachers were as caring and creative as you are. Such an inspiration and a blessing.

  6. Thanks, WSW! It has been that kind of job for 30+ years. Now, on to new adventures. Wonder if there will be as many tears???