Move Over Shakespeare!

I posted another photo of myself onto the Facebook that made  for my students, and all I have to say is – Move over Shakespeare! 😀

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Awww!!

I wished my student a ‘Happy Birthday’, and this is the response I got.

I have nothing to say about this, but, “Awww!!”

commenttttIt’s hard to let go of a group of students you’ve worked so hard on. I’ve been teaching this group for two years. They started with me at 6th grade, then 7th… I’ve never taught 8th grade before and that’s where they’re heading. So that would mean… we are to part, to go out separate ways. A new teacher will teach them English…

Little do they know, I will in fact be teaching the 8th grade this coming school year, and I’ve been quiet about it so far. So I hope they like the surprise!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

I don’t like taking sick days off of work for multiple reasons; I get behind on my lesson plans, I burden the deans (since they have to watch over the class during my period), and of course, the kiddos are usually heartbroken.

However, when a virus takes over, there’s really nothing you want to do but lay in bed and sulk in misery. Luckily for me, I get lots of creative notes to greet me upon my return to work.

This time instead of the deans watching over the students, they sent two older students from the high school section to do some activities with them! Here’s a letter from one my fifth graders:

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It reads: Dear Miss Salam, Miss … told us your absent last time, and that you were sick. When we knew we all started to miss you a lot. I was one of the people who missed you so much! And I or we all wished you were there! But don’t worry we had half..a great time! You know, I wouldn’t have so much of fun, but …. and…. read us stories that got us in a great mood! We made two groups, I was in ….’s group and he was fun to read with! Plus, he let us ask him questions, we laughed, and we got back to the class on the second period, we talked about how much we enjoyed it. Seems like we got two new friends!! 🙂 P.S My younger sister missed you too!!

It’s one of the cutest letters I’ve ever received. It was creatively decorated with feathers and tassel, and she even used her 2 year old sister’s smiley faced creations to add extra adorableness. Not only did I find the time she put into decorating it heartwarming, I was impressed with her maturity and instinctive nature as she reassures me throughout her letter. They were happy and well taken care of, they did just fine, and I needn’t worry.

I’ve learned many things through working with children. Through a child, I can see God’s untainted vision of the pure human being.

Friendship

In case life has caused you to forget what the true definition of friendship is, here’s a reminder.

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by Karen Ghafary

     Friendship is built from love, trust, and happiness. But the most important thing in a friendship is trust. Friendship is based onzs trust. If trust is not found between two friends, then they are not real friends. But this doesn’t mean that love and happiness are not important in a friendship either. Everything is important and if you trust your friend, you can share your problems and secrets with him or her. You can consider him a box to keep your secrets in. Sometimes, your friend can help you with any problem you have. For example, I have a friend that I love so much because she cares about me loves me. She shares her secrets with me and always tries to help me with everything. So just trust your friends and make them trust you!

Billion times <3 you….

I decided to start small (literally) for the first post in this new category, Love Notes.

     There’s a little boy in my fifth grade class who’s as shy as a button. He’s just about the quietest and most respectful student I’ve ever had. Not only that, he’s extremely intelligent. He’s brilliant in just about every subject and is an excellent piano player, ranking number 1 out of all his classmates and amongst all his piano playing colleagues.

     One day, I was leading him and his fifth grade class to the playground as per usual. As he walked passed me, he slipped this into my hand:

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He quickly skedaddled away before I could see take a look at it in front of him…

  “Billion times ❤ you”, it says, and I billion times ❤ him too…

I Quit Teaching!

     All teachers, especially new ones, have those horrible days. Those days where nothing goes right. It seems as though not a single student is interested in anything you’re saying. Last February, I experienced one of those days. I can’t remember what period it was, it must have been the last two. I walked into class ready to start my lesson, and all was well during the first hour. As time dragged on, I suppose the students had had enough English for the day. They were getting really rowdy. Don’t blame the kiddos, Grammar exercises are redundant, boring, and tedious. After trying almost everything to get them to focus and stop talking, I walked out. Yep, I quit. If they didn’t want to learn, I didn’t want to teach. It may not be the best technique, but it definitely had a shock value. They never thought I would do such a thing. Not their sweet, patient, and passive teacher. Unfortunately, I did indeed do it, and I was quite furious. I wouldn’t recommend doing this to any teacher, since one moment of patience saves a thousand moments of regret.

    Events continued to unfold –  the dean went right over to the class to teach them a lesson, as well as the middle school director. As for me? Well, I was done for the day…and I quit teaching!

     Coincidentally, the next day I’d come down with a virus and could hardly move. I called in sick for the day, nothing unusual. My younger sister, who is a student at the same school I work at, came home and presented me with these…

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     Yep, letters. A letter from every single student apologizing for what they had done and asking me to come back. Apparently, they thought I really did quit and was never coming back. As angry as I was at them, I felt a tingle in my heart and was about to forgive them. Each letter was perfectly folded and encased in an envelope. They were all formally addressed to me, and written in neat and orderly handwriting.  Each one made me, “awww” – each one was unique and original.

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     Read more letters here!

     However, I had to remain as hard as a rock and they needed to learn their lesson. So I took note from the classic book, “Ms.Nelson is Missing!”, and the main character, Miss Viola Swamp.

Miss Viola Swamp     The next day I arrived to class and didn’t mention or acknowledge the letters whatsoever. I was stern faced and rude. Didn’t crack a single smile. No fun allowed. The old Ms. Salam was gone, and the new one was here to stay! We got lots of work done in a short amount of time, and I was whizzing through my lesson plans. As great as that may sounds, my classroom became something I would never want it to become… and that is boring.

     After a couple of days, to my students’ relief, I eased up a bit. The class was now balanced. It wasn’t as fun as before, but also not as strict as Miss Viola Swamp would like to have it. It’s definitely a challenge knowing when to pull tight and when to let loose. The key to a successful classroom is the balance between the two.

     So here’s a message to all the knew teachers embarking on this journey – the first couple years are rough, but don’t give up. I promise it will get better!

Turned into an Alien!!!

An extraterrestrial post for you all!

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by Rihan Al Akash

     On a cold winter day, I was studying the most wonderful subject, Science. I was studying space, aliens, earth, the moon, and everything that is found in space. While I was reading the concepts, a weird person with a scary body showed up. He had four hands and three legs. He was was looking at me from the book and told me to wait for him outside. He wanted to study and teach me more information. He was a scientist.

     When I went outside, I found a strange space ship and he was standing beside it. He took me to a small place, where he gave me gum. I noticed that inside this gum was sedative substances and toxic chemicals. I fell down on the floor and I felt that the world was rotating around me. When I woke up, I realized that I was in space, and I noticed that the man had taken me to a big lab where you can find everything that you can use for life science. While I was walking to see these amazing things, I saw that the man was washing his hand and his laboratory glassware and chemicals. I thought that he was going to make an experiment for me to understand the lesson. My thoughts went down the wrong path, it wasn’t like that. The experiment wasn’t for my studies, but it was for me! He was trying to experiment on me and turn me into an alien! So, I started to feel scared, but I had brave feelings to hit him with laboratory glass filled with chemicals.

     When I hit him, he fell onto the ground and I started to think about how I should go back to earth. I thank God, because the machine worked easily and very quickly. I knew how to control it. Finally, I returned home and started to study Science again.

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A Special Student

Special – This word is often used loosely to describe something unique, rare, or exceptional. That’s the word my student decided to use when he handed me this poem. I don’t know if he wrote it or found it somewhere. It didn’t matter anyway, it still melted my heart. Not because it makes me feel better about myself as a teacher or because my efforts are appreciated by this child. It’s because this came from a special student.

He brought me this little note and wrapped it in 3 envelopes. He told me not to read it until I got home. Usually, cute little things like this don’t make me tear up, but this one did. It did because he brought it to me a couple of days after his mother lost her 2 year battle with cancer. It was very sad to see how an above average student becomes a struggling student throughout the course of a year.

During one period, I was talking to the students about their recent quizzes. I didn’t realize I might have been too stern, and I spotted a few tears in the class. I proceeded to tell them that they need not worry, we may not have gotten the grades we wanted, but we can try and get them next time. That’s when my special student rose his hand and said, “Miss, sometimes we lose things and we can never get them back.”

The hardest thing is seeing a child sad, knowing there isn’t anything you can do. I assume due to him trying to fill the void over the loss, he started following me around everywhere. I tried my best to keep his spirits up with a little extra attention on the side. He told me school was his second home, and I was his second mom.

Over time, thank God, he was going back to his happier self and his grades went back up. In fact, he got a little too happy and started misbehaving in class – disrupting almost every period, except mine. In my class he was as quiet as a whistle because he would never want to upset me.

It took me a while, but I really learned that the key to teaching isn’t how many degrees you have or how many years you have under your belt. No, the trick is nothing but showing your students love. It’s through love a child sits and listens. Through love a child wants to bring you the best of grades. Through love a child will do anything you ask of him. So love, love is the key to teaching and success.

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