Yesterday was mostly a pretty cool day, because I got to feel proud of my students.
At the end of the day, we held our third P#nny H#rvest meeting. We've done things very quick and dirty, since I got a late start on it and the deadline is in two weeks. Last week the kids found possible organizations online, and then they looked more closely and decided on whether or not they wanted those organizations to be included on our donation list.
This week, we had to make phone calls to those places. First I led them in coming up with questions and then we practiced conversations. This meeting I had to be a little more involved than before (and I was extremely proud of what they did on their own the last few meetings), partly for time and partly because now's the time to start dealing with adult strangers, which is intimidating.
Finally, after nearly forty minutes, we made our way to the office and three students made three phone calls. The first was very short; the person told the kid to email instead. The second was a long one; the student spoke clearly, professionally, not robotically, remembered to ask the questions they'd thought of, and I was just so proud! I spoke briefly with the rep, and she too praised the student's phone manner. The third call was shorter but the performance from the student was also mature and responsible.
I was just really happy with the whole thing. So proud.
Earlier in the day, I went on a trip with my favorite class. Unfortunately, due to bus scheduling issues, we all sat around for over an hour killing time. I had to fight the noise and play, but I was not comfortable with relinquishing control. It was tiring but eventually they did calm down, like the good kids they are.
At our destination, the students behaved wonderfully. They followed directions of the staff members, participated in the discussions and activities, and really paid attention. I heard that one group took notes--of their own accord! They enjoyed themselves and learned new things.
Like I said, they are my favorite class anyway, because they are all very smart and driven and self-motivated. And they're nerds just like me; they happily sit reading for a whole period and prefer Madlibs over trivia games.
I expected they would be decent on the trip, and I was very happy with how they did. One of the staff complimented them, within earshot of one of the very smart girls. I said, 'yeah, they're a good group. Social and chatty sometimes (teacher look at the girl), but they're very smart and just good kids.'
The other teacher who was with us was grateful for my involvement in handling and managing the kids. He said he's been on trips with teachers who don't pay attention or wander off or let the kids act like crazy people. I was bothered but not surprised by this, and I felt a bit vindicated for my strict manner.
But these kids are actually quite wonderful despite (or because of, if you want my opinion) my strictness. One or two had cameras and took pictures of their classmates and friends. One wanted to take a picture of just me. Cute! Several shared their snacks with me, because they know I like treats and goodies. They packed away their trash conscientiously after lunch.
What a lovely way to end the week, having a fun trip and seeing one's students behave like the model citizens they're becoming.