A Candle of Inspiration...
Ending on a Great Note
Today was our last day of school. All the sixth graders were crying, coming into my room for hugs, etc. In walks Aaron. Now, I have posted about Aaron before. When he came to our school in fourth grade, he was a very angry, unhappy little boy. In his own words, "My mother don't love me. She dropped me off in my dad's yard, and drove away, like I was an unwanted dog." It was true; his mother brought him to live with a father he had never met before, and drove out of his life. He hasn't seen or heard from her since. We had a rocky beginning of the year that year. He was miserable, and he was going to make sure everyone else was too. He defied us at every turn. He couldn't read and this was a source of embarrassment to him. When my co-worker or I tried to be nice to him, he either clammed up or became almost hostile. Yet, we hung in there, because there was something about Aaron that made us like him. He would yell at us, and we would calmly answer. He flinched everytime we put an arm around him, yet we continued to do it. We praised him when he did something right. Slowly he began to warm up to us. By November, the angry outbursts were almost gone, and he was beginning to turn in good work. Then, the coach discovered that Aaron is a natural-born basketball player. One day on the playground, he watched a child that had never played ball before, doing amazing things. He asked him to try out for the team. He even went to Aaron's house and picked him up so he wouldn't have to walk to tryouts. From that moment on, he was a different child. Suddenly, he was doing something well, and the other kids noticed. By the end of the year, he had become a pleasant, hardworking child. With some help from our reading specialist, he began reading. The other kids liked him, and he was popular. He actually liked school.
Over the past two years, he has had his ups and downs, but for the most part has done well. He was forever coming up to me in the hall and talking. One day he discovered that he was taller than me, and it thrilled him! When he started fourth grade, he came up to my shoulder. Now at the end of sixth grade, he towers over me. This was a great source of entertainment to him, as he would forever tease me about my shortness. Then, one day, he told a new boy at school, "She is my favorite old teacher." I laughed, and asked him who he was calling old. He would joke with me about being old.
Today, Aaron came to my room just before time to go home. He had a very serious look on his face. He handed me a folded piece of paper, hugged me quickly, and practically ran out of my room in tears. I opened the paper, and I will type here his words, exactly as he had written them.
"You're my favrite teacher. I was just jokeing when I called you my favrite OLD teacher. Thanks for all the things you have done for me. Aaron"
I had to sit down and have a good cry.