Today was my first day back in the classroom after missing some time at work when my grandmother passed away, and then, of course, the holiday break. What a treat to find the room so neat and organized, thanks to a wonderful substitute teacher who took the time to leave things just so. I found papers scrolled up with a red ribbon on the corner of the desk. Opening it, I saw that it was a letter from two of my colleagues, a second grade teacher and a fourth grade teacher. Their classes collaborated for a "Big Buddy/Little Buddy" Random Acts of Kindness project. The students wrote letters of appreciation to former teachers. Under their letter, I found two letter from former students of mine. One even included an acrostic poem with my rather long last name!
Reading their sweet messages was so heartwarming and was a beautiful way to start my 2016 at school. What a kind and lovely idea my colleagues had! December is a very hectic month in our school, as report cards go home and there are many holiday responsibilities to attend to, both personally and professionally. I was so touched that my colleagues made time for this project, which surely gave them extra work in a month where there is already no time.
I plan on writing back to the two students who sent me such heartfelt notes. One little student wrote, "And no matter what, I will remember you forever." What more can I ask for?
Today I am thankful for colleagues who take the time to leave a classroom neater than they found it and colleagues who take on a meaningful project in the midst of an incredibly hectic time, just to spread kindness and appreciation. I'm thankful for students who write from the heart and make acrostic poems out of "Sokolowski" and promise to remember me forever. How blessed I am to be a teacher in a place where kindness is all around.