Thursday, May 12, 2016

that one kid

If you're a teacher you know exactly who I am talking about...

That one kid in class who can't sit still, refuses to participate, is constantly playing around instead of working, and generally just tap dances on your very last nerve.

Yup... let's talk about that kid.

Last year I had one. I've got another one this year. All of my teacher friends have one in their classrooms as well. I've had one in every classroom I've ever been in.

If I am being completely honest: I absolutely adore "that kid" each and every year. They force me to check my attitude and ego at the door and do all I can to meet each of my students where they are. There is no "phoning it in" if you want to reach them. They aren't the type to give in and do what you want just because you are the teacher and they definitely aren't the type to draw you pictures and bring you apples just to get on your good side.

They are unapologetically themselves. And it is inspiring to see such individuality even in first grade. Even if it is a bit trying.

I won't lie... it isn't all rainbows and puppies with these kids. They can be forces to be reckoned with even in the best of circumstances. And I'm no saint. I've definitely lost my cool and made a small behavior into a giant issue without meaning to. It happens.

I bring this all up today because there are exactly 10 days left in the school year.

10 days with my sweet first graders before we all leave for the break and I leave my school for a new one.

As I pack my things and plan our end-of-year activities I know who I will miss the most.

That kid.

My special snowflake who can't sit still for more than 2 seconds and begs me to let him play "cool math" or do GoNoodle dances after every center rotation.

It hit me especially hard today because of something that happened at dismissal. 

You see... this little boy does not really show affection. If he is close to you then you have a better chance of getting sand thrown at you than getting a hug.

But he hugged me today. I called him to get on his bus and, before stepping onto the bus stairs, he stopped and gave me a huge bear hug and said "I see you tomorrow, Mrs. Riecke!"

It felt like I had just been crowned Queen of England. And I promptly teared up because I'm going to miss that kid. And I only have 10 days left.

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