Friday, October 25, 2013

Last Day of First Student Teaching Placement

Today, was the last day in my first placement in the high school as I'll be going into the middle school next week. It was quite a bittersweet day filled with endless surprises.

We could say it began the night before when I receive a text from my mentor teacher: "J__ has a little crush on you....!!" J__ is her cutie-patootie, 7-year-old son. He and her husband had stopped by yesterday morning to drop off her forgotten coffee (that, my friends, is real love) and had stayed for the first few minutes of Period A.

This morning she tells me the whole story of what he had said exactly: "Fatuma, didn't look the way I expected." Well, how did you think she would look? "I don't know, but I like her voice. What else did she teach besides the word of the day? She's in college? To be a teacher? What is she doing this weekend?"

Two words, folks: Life Complete.

Then, a student stops by before first period to drop off cupcakes . . . that were made for me! Apparently they'd said "We'll miss you," but she nearly dropped them as she was leaving this morning and the frosting message was smudged. Come one, everyone, say it with me: AWWWW! I was so pleasantly surprised. Astounded. Flabbergasted.

Even more so, when my mentor teacher turns around and pulls out a pink gift bag . . . again, for me! Inside was a beautiful faux leather bound journal, also in pink, accompanied with a beautiful card and the following message: Dear Fatuma, It has been a pleasure mentoring you--you are a terrific teacher with so much potential! Be sure to take time along your journey to record your thoughts and feelings. Stay in touch, H___. Be still, my heart, be still!

Next, towards the end of the first period, my mentor teacher makes the announcement: "Everyone say thank you to Miss Hydara." The Class: "Thank you, Miss Hydara--wait, what? Today's your last day?" "Yuuup," as I look up sheepishly. "Why didn't you say anything?" Because I hate goodbyes and I was planning to just slink out of here and send an email this evening. "Because Miss Hydara doesn't like goodbyes and didn't want to make a fuss." Amongst the "Going to miss you," "You were a great teacher," and "Good luck. You're going to be an amazing teacher," one student came up and stuck a hand out, "Thank you for everything Miss Hydara; you were an amazing teacher." "Thank you; the pleasure was all mine," I replied as I firmly shook this incredibly young man's hand.

Each period was this way, with students sad to see me go and wishing me luck. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so stunned.

My student teaching experience in the high school ended the same way it started and has been for the last seven week; an absolute-freaking-pleasure. I had a blast with my mentor teacher and the students. They were such a great group of kids and my mentor teacher was so supportive in giving me the freedom to grow into myself as a teacher. My time there has been reassuring in that it has not only confirmed that "Yes, I can do this," but that "I freaking adore doing it" as well.

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