Today was my last day of Practicum. What is Practicum??? It means that I have been assigned to an elementary school and a specific classroom to go and observe/teach in for the semester. Basically it means I get to "practice" the things I am taught in my classes the rest of the week. I go once a week to the same classroom. Next semester will be another school and another classroom.
I went to Practicum today and had a little "gift" for the students. It was just a pencil and a plastic stencil thing with shapes they could trace. They were excited. It was something super simple, but they thought it was great. If only my own children could be so easily satisfied!
About mid-day, the students gave me a bouquet of flowers and each one of them had written me a nice thank you card. They are in 2nd grade, so the cards were super cute. They told me that they loved me and were going to miss me and that I was the greatest teacher ever. That kind of stuff.
The unexpected part??? Well, there is a student in the class that really struggles. This student struggles with a learning disability and some emotional problems. He rarely smiles. Rarely shows emotion (unless it is anger) and spends a lot of time at the Principals office, Counselors office, at a table at the back of the room. You get the idea. I have had to help this student one-on-one quite a bit because he is always behind on his work. There are times when he flat out refuses to do his work and throws tantrums. Things like banging his head on his desk, throwing his papers on the floor, breaking his pencils. You know, fun stuff like that ;)
So, on with the unexpected. When the teacher announced that it was the last day that I would be there, this student and I were sitting at the back table doing his math worksheets. He looked up and said, "What?". . .then the teacher told him that it would be my last day there. He got this horrified look in his eye and then started crying. Not a tantrum kind of a cry, but a heartbroken kind of a cry. Before you know it, I had tears in my eyes, the teacher had tears in her eyes, and so did the aide that was in there helping. Sheesh!!!
I didn't expect to get choked up, but even more than that, I didn't expect the most difficult kid in the entire class to care one bit that I was leaving. It just goes to show, you may touch someone's life in a way that you don't expect, and they may touch yours in a way you don't expect.
A quote I once read says: "They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
I found out how true that was today.