Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 160- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Day of Celebrations

Last year= Domino's pizza fun and deliciousness
This year= A donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a Domino's favorite

"Find cures.  Saving children.

St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today's most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.

St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay."

http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f87d4c2a71fca210VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD

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I got to do a lot of things that made me very happy today. 

I started a tradition last year.  I created PowerPoints for my classes at the end of my student teaching to share a few last thoughts with my students.  I pitched it as "Mrs. Ferri's Farewell Tour 2010."  Each student had his or her own slide with a collage of Google images and a little speech from me about a favorite memory I had or something I admired about each one of them.  I also shared a few {hopefully} inspirational stories and poems and a few {definitely} embarrassing pictures from when I was their age to let them know I totally understand the idea of a loooooong awkward phase.  I wanted to let them know just how much I enjoyed them and how much they meant to me.

It turns out that last year's farewell tour went so well that I decided to do "Mrs. Ferri's Farewell Tour 2011."  I had more classes and way more students this year than I did in student teaching, but I still thought the idea behind the farewell and the meaning of it all was equally as important.  I think there's something to be said for sitting down and thinking about what is special about each kid, even those who caused me some trouble... especially those who were difficult.  It's even more important to share these things with the kids.  I want to leave my students with the impression that I know exactly who they are, and I like them because of (or in spite of) it.  What's the point in caring so darn much if I don't tell them how special they are?

This year's tour was another success.  I allowed the kids to invade my personal bubble for just this one day, and many of them took advantage of it.  I was touched to see a few of them even get a little choked up.  I may or may not have gotten a bit choked up at times myself.  I hope and think that each of them, regardless of how much they did or didn't enjoy being in my class, left my room today feeling significant.  I know that my subject area is not for everyone, and I am not so naive as to believe that I am for everyone.  However, what could be more important than making a bunch of teenagers feel good about themselves?  I want the feelings from today to be long lasting.  I want them to remember what it was like to feel noticed and accepted and loved.

This whole year felt, at times, like a race against the clock.  My goal is to turn the 120-130some kids I get each year into thinkers and doers who will make a difference in this world.  I only get a short time to try to make a huge impact, and the clock starts ticking down the second they enter my room in August. 

The time has almost run out, and I hope I made a difference today. 

I also got to enjoy other celebrations.  We had our eighth grade awards and dance tonight.  We got to recognize the achievements and improvements of many students.  We got to trade smiles and kind words with parents.  We got to show our students that we like them and spend time with them where we didn't have to worry about curriculum.

I don't know of any other job where I could work a fourteen hour day on about four hours of sleep and come home feeling so full and happy.  Have I mentioned how much I love what I do?

Thank you, day of celebrations, you made my day.

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