OK, so I am aware that being a kindergarten teacher has turned me into a big sap, and I apologise for that. I almost posted this picture on Facebook but decided against it for fear that I was becoming like one of those parents who post every little detail of their children’s development (but seriously, who needs to know – in graphic detail – that your baby’s constipation is at an end?!). In this case, the children aren’t even mine, so it’s possibly even more boring to the disinterested observer.

But I can post whatever I want on my blog and call it ‘expressing myself artistically’, so here I am to tell you that I just had the best ever start to a week that I could not have been dreading more. Open House is happening on Thursday and Friday (there were actually teachers running around in the corridors yelling “STRESS!” this morning), everyone is tense, it is the last week of my twenties, and I have a sore neck. Ugh. So I sat down at my computer this morning with my coffee, several performance scripts, and a red pen, feeling less than joyous, when one of ‘my’ little 6-year-old girls (my best kindergarten student) appeared shyly at my classroom door. She had that sweet, innocent look of nervous hope and excitement that the little ones often wear when they’ve made something for a teacher. Will she like it? Will she see how hard I worked on it? Will she be pleased?

Clutched in her hands were a brightly colored little sunflower, carefully crafted from children’s modeling clay, and a tiny homemade envelope containing a handwritten note. Teacher, good morning, she said shyly as she came into the room. This is for you!

Honestly, it was the cutest and most welcome sight. When I made the appropriate wowwwwwww noises of surprise and delight, her nervous smile changed into a big, beaming grin, and she almost broke into a run in her eagerness to deliver her gift to me at my desk. It’s a sunflower, she said proudly. And I wrote a letter, too!

I made a big fuss of her and her offerings, and she left looking as pleased as Punch while I carefully arranged my sunflower and note on my desk. It does something to me, a little moment like that. Makes all the other stuff worthwhile. A little girl who I love and look forward to seeing each day spent some of her weekend making something for me and writing me a lovely note in the language I have been teaching her to speak. And just like that, my tired and somewhat pessimistic mood vanished, and was replaced with a smile, energy, enthusiasm and patience in my classes, even for the children who insisted on doing the exact opposite of what I told them. All because of a sunflower and a few sentences in a child’s neatest handwriting.



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