What started out as a year of teaching has led to just one week of class left. 4 days to be exact. 4 days to wrap it all up and celebrate 9 months of success!
We've waded through endless science experiments, math masters, journal entries, spelling quizzes, book reports, alphabet letter combinations, internet research websites and that is just the beginning... Now, we're at the end and it's time to par-tay! It's been an amazing year. A year full of possibility, growth and challenge. A year full of learning, laughter, and lots and lots of memories.
I would like to dedicate this Saturday's blog to my three students, who made my first year of teaching one I will never forget.
Let's start with Bridgely.
Bridgely knows how to break the ice. Throughout our year, he came up with the most random phrases and out-of-the-box ideas which had us all laughing. The picture above was taken on our beach day before Christmas. He's quite a 'poser'! Although it took him a few months to warm up, I also discovered over the year that he has an zealous personality as well as a hard-core dance rhythm. In our afternoons together, we would crank up the music and Bridgely would shake his stuff with absolutely no inhibitions. Aside from his silly antics, Bridgely is also a very 'smart cookie', and has been such a rewarding student to teach as he has grown in leaps and bounds in his reading, writing and math skills throughout the year. I look forward to working with him again next year for grade 2, and for more crazy memories to be made!
Grayden was also an integral part of our successful year in Haiti.
For starters, he helped us keep our 'cool'. Grayden is very in tune with style and loves to live on the edge. This is a photo of him 'free falling'. Over the year Grayden has also really come out of his shell through his involvement in the Church of Hope worship band. With the help of some band members down at the church, Grayden has become quite the little drummer boy, and has played in church with the worship team on many occasions. In addition, Grayden is a fantastic writer. In our journal writing times, he would run with my opening questions and write pages upon pages of great stories, experiences and ideas. It has been so awesome getting to know him over the school year and he has shown extensive growth and passion for learning. It's sure to be another great year with him this September!
Last but not least we have Teagan.
Bottom line, Teagan has been my lifesaver. She consistently went way above her 'big sister' responsibilities and helped me so much both inside and outside of the classroom. I have been continually thankful for the way that she has been able to work through the majority of her school units with independence, while also maintaining a peaceful patience with her younger brothers. In addition to her assistance in the classroom, it has also been a joy for me to get to know Teagan as a friend. We have had many 'girls nights' together over the year where made supper together, watched chick flicks, and painted each other's toenails. She also has a real heart for the children of Haiti, and we've taken many out-trips with the teams together. It is amazing to watch her thrive in this environment and all of the children love her. This fall she will be going into grade 8 and it's an honour for me to watch her turn the next page in this journey!
So there are my students in a nut shell. I could go on and on about our memories together and the pride I have in each of them as they have adjusted not just to a new school system, but a whole way of life. In September, there were many moments of doubt that I experienced, wondering how and if we would ever make it to June. But now by the Lord's grace, we've arrived! Reflecting back on how far we've journeyed and the hurdles we've overcome, I am reminded of a song that has recently been sung at the Church of Hope during our worship times.
The chorus words in Creole say -
Nou ba ou tout louwanj ak glwa, Nou adore Senye, Ou merite tout louwanj.
English translation -
We give you all the glory, We worship you oh Lord, You are worthy to be praised.
These words really connect with how I am feeling as this school year comes to a close. The kids and I can testify that without the help and strength of the Lord, this successful school year would not have been possible. Just as we prayed every week, and in our devotions each morning - Lord we dedicate this time to you, and He has honoured our prayers. It's a privilege now to give all of the glory back to the Him as we see how much He has blessed our first year together. Just as the song sings, He is worthy to be praised! While we celebrate all that He has done for us in our final days together, I also want to thank all of you back home for your prayers and support to us. It's been such a blessing to receive such affirmation and encouragement.
As our time comes to an end, my heart continues to be filled with peace and hope about all that the Lord is preparing for the kids and I in the year ahead. May we never forget how much we need His power in our lives and may we never cease to give Him all the glory.