Before I begin my story, let me explain why this is "Part 1". As I am getting my degree in Elementary and Special education, I have to do two placement for my student teaching; one in regular education and one in special education. While this is good because I get two wonderful experiences with different types of students, it also means that I have to say goodbye two different times. Saying goodbye is hard enough once, but having to do it twice is even more painful! One of my two sets of goodbye's happened this past Friday as I finished up my regular education placement with the little first graders.
The kids knew that I was leaving, they had been told at different points during the week, though every time they were told, they acted like they didn't know. Even on Friday, some of them didn't understand that this was my last day. I was not teaching too much in the class anymore, I even left the class a couple times to observe other classrooms.
As the end of the day on Friday drew near, my big goal was to not cry in front of the kids when I said goodbye. I was hoping that this would be easy because I was not really leaving, I am staying in the same building, just going to a different classroom. I should have known that my co-op wouldn't let it be that easy! I knew that the class had done something for me, they were teasing it and trying to tell me all week, but I just pretended that I was oblivious and didn't know what they were talking about. When the end of the day on Friday came, there was a big pink bag that I was supposed to open. All the kids gathered around as I pulled out this picture frame. The frame held a paper that said "Thumbody Loves Ms. Clawson" and all over the paper were they kids' thumbprints, decorated to look like them! It was the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen and I was just so happy! As if that was not enough though, there was even more in the bag! My co-op gave me fancy paper to print notes on, a few books for my classroom, a notepad that she had that I had been admiring, a Reader's Theater book and a book with some teaching ideas in it! I could not believe she had gotten me all of this and it was at this point that I had started to tear up! All of the kindness that she had shown me in the last 7 weeks and then doing all of this for me....I was completely speechless! I was good though, I composed myself, said goodbye to the children as they left to go to the buses and did not cry in front of them. When my co-op came back, I thanked her from the bottom of my heart and gave her a little surprise of my own.
This first experience was by far one of the best I have ever had and I will never forget a single one of the students that I had! With the ending of this first experience, it means that I am half way finished my student teaching, which is beyond unbelievable!! I barely remember it beginning! Tomorrow morning I walk into my new placement, my special education room, with new adventures to begin! My first adventure: a field trip on Tuesday! Can't wait!