The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Special Days

Today was a special day, and yet it was a very typical Tuesday in my classroom: My students started the day by writing about our classroom jobs and trying to decide which one was most important (one girl, always finding a way to answer prompts by not-answering them, insisted that every job is important; she was correct), then we spent 75 minutes in our guided math block (we are working on division of whole numbers) before having an indoor recess (the wind chill had dropped from 18° to 14°) and then going to Dance. Our morning wrapped up with social studies (getting background knowledge on the Southern Colonies in America) and Writers’ Workshop (writing demonstrative essays). After lunch the students worked on their Digital Passports with Common Sense Media and then we finished our day with our Daily CAFE literacy block and a read aloud (another chapter of The Walls of Cartagena by Julia Durango).

Some might be wondering what could make such a typical day so special?

The answer is simple: I have now completed 33 trips around the Sun!

Yep, today was my birthday. I told my students yesterday that the one gift I really wanted was for everyone to promise that they would try their best every day. I didn’t get any formal promises like that this year (unlike my first year teaching, when one student made a very lovely card for me that expressed that promise), but I did get a bunch of wonderful notes and hand-made cards, including a set of cards from my students’ kindergarten learning buddies. Each card and note I received will be treasured, but I wanted to share three of them. First, two from kindergarteners who apparently notice much more about me than I would have thought since I am only in their room for about 30 minutes once a week:


I love how she captured my thick curly locks of dark hair!

I don’t know if you can read what it says in the top left corner, but I’ll leave it to you to decode what IlfYo! means.

And finally, one from a current student who has had several different challenges this year:


Getting all of these notes, as well as the wishes from students and coworkers in the halls, truly made today a special day. (The best hallway greeting had to have been a kindergartener who ran up from behind me and shouted, “Happy Thursday!”)

And finally, because I share a birthday with my favourite country/continent in the Southern Hemisphere, here’s a classic video of Slim Dusty singing a classic Australian folk song, Waltzing Matilda:


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