I love this time of year. It’s my most favorite. There’s something about Christmas time that makes everyone generally just a little bit nicer (well, most people, anyway).
As I was decorating our house this past week, I came across this:
A student gave this to me two years ago at Christmas. This particular student stood out for two reasons. First, in a year filled with a rough group of kids (seriously, lots of them had some serious attitude and behavioral problems), she was one of the few sweet ones who wanted to do well. Secondly, she was obsessed with ducks. Her folders, binders, and notebooks were covered in ducks. If she doodled on her homework assignment, you knew it was her even if she forgot to write her name on it. 🙂 And she had the craziest collection of rubber duckies. Ducks of all colors, animal types, holiday types… You think of a rubber ducky out there and she’s got it. Somewhere around my house or classroom I have a tiger-duck that she gave me when I told her that was my favorite animal.
Anyways, I guess this stands out to me this year in particular because it’s been the roughest year of my teaching career. With the drastic changes and little support from admin, district, and parents alike, most days threaten to crush me. But when I look at something simple like this, I remember the students that are doing everything right. The ones who do always do their homework, and come to class with a great attitude, and even thank me as they leave the classroom for teaching them. The ones who are consistently honest, good, sweet kids. And those are the ones that help me power through when I feel like I can’t do anymore.
So this year, I put this little duck on the mantle. I know Jared thinks it is a little tacky, but whenever I see it, I have to smile at the memories.
And let’s face it. This year, I need to find more reasons than usual to help me smile.