Our first week back from the break started with our typical Monday tradition, CPR (Independent reading time) and Writer's Workshop. For Writer's Workshop, I told each of you about the word movement, which is the idea of a word to live by for the year, as opposed to a resolution. Each of you picked a word and wrote a paragraph telling why the word was significant to you and how you planned to live by it for the upcoming year. Then you decorated a card with your word to display around the room. I love how the words have enveloped our classroom and painted a picture of all of our hopes for the year.
I explained to each of you that my word for the year was Treasure. Thank you, Kendall Boddy, for helping me decorate my card. I am, by no means, an artist. I picked this word due to my Christmas break. As I told you guys Tuesday, over the break my husband had a health scare, which we thought was a heart attack. Fortunately, it was simply a pulled muscle, but in those moments of uncertainty while he was in the ER, I thought about what mattered most to me and how I wanted to spend my life.
I concluded I want to spend it appreciating, "treasuring," every single moment of every single day. I also want to spend it with each of you, who have come to mean so much to me. It is truly my honor to serve, love, and teach each of you every single day. I can say this more fully and more sincerely than I ever have, not simply because of my husband's scare but also because he lost a student over the break. Seventeen year old, Daisy was killed in a car accident two days before Christmas. Before she left, she wished my husband a Merry Christmas and told him she could not wait to be in his class again after the break. Neither he nor she knew that she would not be returning. Life is short.
Sometimes teaching 157 students can be overwhelming. 157 good mornings, 157 papers to grade, 157 names to call, 157 students to get to know on a personal level. Yet, I realized today that something more stressful than teaching 157 students is teaching 156, when you are supposed to be teaching 157. This week I am so grateful for every occupied seat, for every mundane moment, for every single paper I have the honor of grading.
I hope this year of 2018 is one filled with happiness and understanding for each of you. I hope you live by your word. I hope you treasure each day and do your best to live a life full of purpose and vision.
Happy New Year,