This week marks my final days of being a first grade teacher…at least for awhile. While I started out my teaching career in Panama with second grade- I have come to know and love first graders. After the initial shock that some couldn’t tie their shoes or blow their noses, I quickly made up lessons to teach them those important life skills (mostly so I didn’t have to do them constantly myself) and then I was on my way.
On Friday my students and their parents pulled off an amazing surprise goodbye/baby party for me! The kids knew about it for an entire week and none of them slipped up, which is a miracle for sure. It was so precious- we had cake and punch and opened presents and then they each read a part of the book they had written for me. Yes…I cried. Some kids looked at me curiously while others yelled proudly, “sweet- this is the first time we made Mrs. Farrell cry!!!” ha- gotta love 7 year olds. I thought I’d share some of my favorite excerpts from their fabulous book…”Mrs. Farrell is a person I love to hug so much.” “I love you because you bring joy.” “Mrs Farrell is cool and she likes to give us parties.” ” I like that she doesn’t let me have a dirty heart.” “I love Mrs. Farrell because she loves me.” “My prayer for Mrs. Farrell is that being a mom is everything she hoped it would be.” Needless to say- I walked away from that party feeling very loved and can you see why I might cry a bit?! Well…
In honor of my last day of school…teaching first grade for the last day in a very long time *i think*…I have decided to make a top ten list.
TOP TEN REASONS WHY I LOVE TEACHING FIRST GRADE
1. Self esteem booster- never a day went by without a compliment coming my way..you’re the best, you’re so beautiful, funny, nice, pretty, fun, awesome and my favorite…cupcakealicious (whatever that means)
2. I got to give rewards all day long! There is nothing better than putting a smile on a kid’s face.
3. Biggest problems of the day…paper cuts, “she’s not my friend anymore” tiffs, and nose bleeds- with an occasional vomit which wasn’t my favorite for sure.
4. I got to talk in funny voices on a regular basis- and my audience thought I was cool for it- not dumb.
5. I got to learn random hilarious facts about parents- things that they would probably die if they found out I knew. One quick example- a journal entry assignment : describe your parents. “My dad is bald and he wears boxers.” heheh
6. They always thought I was funny- even when I wasn’t trying. Again..self esteem booster.
7. Little kid forgiveness is the best. If I ever did anything wrong- a quick apology and a hug was all that was necessary to get back in their good graces. Even when I had to punish them- they still always returned my smiles and weird faces. They never kept a record of wrongs.
8. Gifts. What can I say? I love to get presents…and being a teacher was the right job for that love…birthday, Christmas, Valentines, end of year…I’ll even miss the half-used lip glosses and broken jewelry I used to get.
9. Every day was different because my job depended on the lives and attitudes of at least 16 little children. You just never knew what you’re gonna get and I loved the suspense…the surprise…waking up each day with expectation of what might come my way.
10. I always got to celebrate things like Dr. Seuss’ bday and eat stuff like green eggs and ham. (although I wouldn’t recommend the green egg part- it looks more like chunky green mold. hehe) And what 30 year old still gets to hand out cartoon valentines?
I am truly thankful to Jesus for the years I’ve been able to spend in the presence of such precious kiddos. It’s weird to think that my first classroom of students are now finishing up their sophmore year of highschool and here I am- 8 years later…embarking on a whole new career- one that I’m sure will bring me many of the same joys but also so much more than I’ll ever be able to list.