There is still a chance that I might be laid off. I will know definitely around May 15 or so. In some ways, that doesn't matter at this point. Because I know that I have made a difference.
Back in December I went to this conference. During the cocktail hour in the hotel, I started talking to some of my fellow teachers. (A bit too much for some.) One teacher had been having problems with one of her students. I was in shock. This girl always ran across the playground to hug me. I thought that she was one of the sweetest creatures on this earth. I was wrong.
I have her older sister in my class. Her sister is a handful -- and that's being nice. The other teacher's response to my comment about the hugs was, "She doesn't get nearly enough hugs. Don't stop." So I didn't. Some days she gets three or four hugs.
And I started checking in on this little girl on a regular basis. When I found out that she had had a good day, I would drop by her classroom with a small gift. (Thank you dollar section of Michael's and Target.) Eventually she started showing up daily looking for a gift. This week I upped the ante. She had to get through a full week with good behavior. And she did. So I gave her a choice of one of the prizes that I had picked up from Michael's last week specifically for her.
And then I let her bat her eyes at me after school and threw in an ice cream bar. (I keep them in the freezer of the staff room as rewards for my students.) As we were leaving the staff room, we ran into one of the secretaries. I explained to this woman what I was doing. She told me that the girl looked less wild and that I must be having a positive effect. In her opinion, the girl looks less wild and tired. We talked about the difference that one person can make in a kid's life.
If I end up staying around next school year, this girl will probably be one of my students as I should be teaching her grade next year. Actually the teachers in her grade have decided that I should have her next year as I have already bonded with her. I pity any other person who would have her.
This is what also gives me hope that I won't be laid off. I have bonded with a great number of what could be my future students. It would seem silly to pass them off to someone else when they are so excited over spending next year with me.
Oh, and now for the scary.
Here's what my kids are into currently.