Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sitting here in the early morning

I am sitting here in the early morning alternating between typing lists of all the good things my students wrote about each other and reading essays from The Best Women's Travel Writing 2009.  I have been compiling the lists for many years, inspired by a true essay I read  in the original Chicken Soup for the Soul.   I have a hard time reading this story out loud without crying but the idea of having a list of everything good your students in your sixth or seventh grade class I think is a nice one and an experience former students always do remember, whether they keep the lists or not.

This is my first year actually being a seventh grade classroom teacher so this transition period leaving elementary school to go to high school is really up close and personal this  year.  Such a funny period of life, caught between childhood and adolescence.  Yesterday they were telling me how one of my students who had just turned thirteen shaved the night before and he complained how hard it was. Many of my students have spent their whole school life in our small school so it is very much their second home and exciting yet painful to leave.

I am in the midst of writing various certificates, and I still don't have my report cards back to deal with any corrections, sign them, run them off and file them with only two school days left before they are sent home.

Last week I survived Science World and Sun Yat Sen Gardens field trips, both went well but I was tired at the end of both days and then there was Sports Day and the end of the report cards.

This week we made it through the grad luncheon, a buddy picnic, and a day at Spanish Banks West Beach.  Although there are many beaches in our city and they are free, most of my students had never actually been to this beach.  To give city kids a day like this is always a wonderful experience.  The weather was perfect as well. 

I came home a bit salt encrusted, tired, planning an exciting evening of laundry, house cleaning, and working on certificates, lists, etc.  I had forgotten all about a fundraising event at Nu Restaurant for Room to Read when a friend phoned to ask how to get to the restaurant.  I ended up joining her and her husband, getting to sit out on the deck on False Creek under the Granville Street Bridge celebrating a great organization.  We had a chance to chat with chapter leader, Sharon Davis, who recommended two books I want to read now. One is    Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sharon Wudunn.  I can't believe I had missed this one about educating and empowering women to fight poverty and extremism.  The second is Dead Aid : Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo,  Moyo, originally from Zambia, is an international economist who writes about macroeconomy and global affairs. Rumour has it that she will be speaking in Vancouver sometime soon.

It's finally looking like summer here and I must say I am looking forward to it.  Mind you it has clouded over here.  I have to go and water my fertilized lawn and pull lots of weeds and contemplate making it through a couple more days including a Grade Seven assembly etc. Hmm... all those good things.

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