Another ordinary day in the classroom of Dandelion Dreams 119, but since I have not written in quite some time let me say my ordinary has changed to virtual ordinary. I am for the 2020 – 2021 school year a virtual teacher for three schools in my system teaching first grade. This has been a blessing and opportunity for growth as I have never been a teacher to embrace technology to its fullest. Technology and I have had a love hate relationship for many years and most educators will understand. But, we are now the best of friends and I have grown as a teacher.
I digressed, so let me continue with my story. Every single day since the first day of school I sign off with I love you in sign language as well as saying it. The students after a few weeks began to sign back to me at the end of class and it is now our thing. Also, students will randomly sign to me during lessons and I will sign back. At times, I have had to speak sternly to a few students during our learning time, but always close the conversation with the I love you sign.
As our day was beginning, I received a text from a father stating that his wife had died the day before in a car accident and he was unsure how their daughter would react today being in class. He also asked that I not mention her death in class. I was heartbroken and completely taken back. One of my precious delightful little girls had lost her mother at such a young age. I could not imagine one day without my mother, so my heart was full of sadness. Class continued on as normal and I was very aware to watch this little one on camera as our learning progressed throughout the morning. We were beginning to wind down our learning time and had about 10 minutes left of class time when out of the blue the little girl blurted out “My mom died yesterday” and began to cry. My heart was so broken. I began to tell her that I did know and I was so very sorry, but remember your teacher loves you so very much. As I am looking at my computer with 20 boxes with 20 little faces looking back, I see one little girl hold up the I love you sign and then one by one their little hands come into view telling their classmate they love her. I have never witnessed a more touching, beautiful, and tender moment. As tears are now streaming down my face, I ask the little one to look at her classmates on her computer and see how very much they love her.
It really doesn’t matter in the whole scheme of life what we learned today on April 20, 2021 in first grade, but what does matter is the compassion, tenderness, love, and kindness this little girl experienced from her virtual classmates where they have all never even met each other in person this school year. Secondly, my pride is soaring because they have grown and learned something that will never be measured on a test, but will carry them far in life…compassion and empathy for one another.
Until next time….Dandelion Dreams