Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last Day of School

For the past five months, I have been spending most of my Tuesday mornings helping out in Room 7 of Whitehouse Primary School.  This is the classroom of a creative and thoughtful teacher, Mrs. McClurg, and 26 delightful P4 students.  Today was my last day helping out in the classroom, and it started out like most mornings.  I came into the class and did a few favors for Mrs. McClurg and then took some students into the hall to work on an art project until break time.  After break I took some other students out of the class to work on potion making - a great exercise for students to practice mixing colors and measuring volumes.  When we had made a complete mess of or work area and concocted some interesting looking potions it was time to clean up.  I sent the kids into the classroom ahead of me, while I finished cleaning the rest of the potions up.

I went back into the classroom, and the students got really quiet and looked as if they were going to burst with excitement.  Mrs. McClurg asked me to come up to the front of the class to receive a going away gift.  Two of the students came up and presented me with a book of Irish memories, made by the class, an Irish bodhran (drum) and a Celtic cross necklace.  Each student drew a picture of something for me to remember about Northern Ireland for the book of Irish memories.  There are pictures of the Giant's Causeway, Cavehill, an Ulster fry, fish and chips, the Belfast Marathon, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and more!  I couldn't believe the amount of hard work that they all put into the project, not to mention Mrs. McClurg's coordination of the project.  It was such a kind gesture to offer considering the small amount of time I actually spent in the class.  It goes to show that small things really do matter, and we should strive to make the most out of the opportunities we have to interact with new people. 

Pages from the book
I also prepared a small parting gift for the members of the class - it does not come close to measuring up to the gift they gave me!  I gave each student an envelope with my new address written on it, in hopes of getting some pen pals, and put some jelly beans and a note saying, "Thanks for 'bean' so kind and for welcoming me into the class!" into each envelope. 

I am so blessed to have gotten the chance to meet and work with Mrs. McClurg and her P4 class.  I might not have done anything real spectacular with the class, but I hope my interaction with them helped them to think about people and places outside of their own neighborhoods.

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