|Sweet kindergartner Kindia is in the front row, second from the left.|
My students have inspired, delighted, and charmed me. They continually teach me a better way to view the world and provide insights I couldn't have dreamed of on my own. They amaze me.
In fact, the dedication page of my dissertation reads (in part), "For the past 20 years it has been my great privilege to teach a wonderfully diverse group of children. This work is dedicated to those curious boys and girls for allowing me that honor". I added the curious part as a subtle (or not-so-subtle) shout out to my favorite little monkey.
This year one of those precious students flew back to the nest. Kindia has returned as a high school intern helping out with my current class of first grade students. She was a student who tugged at my heart strings because she was a child who was always grateful for every kindness and trinket she received.
Her agreeable outlook was a constant reminder of what is truly important. It isn't material possessions or power. It is love. The beliefs her family instilled in her shone in her interactions with everyone. She was never covetous or demanding. I knew she would "grow up right" to become an adult who would have a positive affect on those around her. And she did. She is.
Kindia's return inspired me to add a feature to this blog to catch up with the lives of my former students. So, I asked her if she would write a little something about herself and any memories she had from her years with Lauren and I. Here is her response.
I am currently a senior majoring in dance. I also intern at my former elementary and middle school, working with Gary and Oni's first graders on Tuesdays. I am taking lifeguarding classes to earn a lifeguarding certificate and a guaranteed job in the summer.
After I graduate I will hopefully know what college I've decided to attend, I haven't gotten any acceptance letters yet, but I've applied to 10 good universities. I still don't know what to major in. I still label myself as an undecided major but my plan Z is to become an interpreter for the deaf. I am also thinking about deaf education but I'm still uncertain about it.
There are many things I can remember about being in Gary and Lauren's kindergarten and first grade class, such as the activities in the morning and the stories they read including Matilda and Curious George. I loved to watch Lauren sign while Gary spoke in his funny voices tyring to match that character. The writing celebrations we had. As an intern with him I sometimes compare how things were then and now such as how the kids use iPads and Smartboards but when I was a kid all I had was paper, pencil, a huge notepad, etc.
Gary was and is a great teacher and I'm glad to be working with him.
Ah, so proud!
Thank you Kindia!