Yes, it happened.
On Wednesday, 3/4 of the way through class my students stopped working. They put their pencils down and refused to work. They said, "Mr. Wright, we're not working any more until you tell us you love us."
As much I wanted to keep my love a secret, my students needed to hear it... about time. I calmy stated "I love you all, every single one of you. That's why I expect a lot from you."
Their response... "Yes you do... okay we'll work now" :)
I never thought I'd love these students so much. They are the class that ran me up a wall at first. I had them for homeroom and 1st period every day. They cried in my class, they yelled in my class and they got sent out of my classroom. They've given me so much trouble that I thought some of my students really had no interest in learning.
They've proven me (right) wrong. They really do want to learn. I knew they could learn, but I questioned their intent... and they have blown me out of the water. My student that always put his head down, told me he was leaving to go back to another school and always talked about his nation (gang)... he is my pride now.
Every day, my most difficult student comes in EXCITED to learn... I used to want to yell at him to keep his head up... now I can't get him to shut his mouth (because he's yelling out answers)... Equally as annoying, but I'll settle for the positive.
I willingly told my 2nd period class that I love them because they too deserve to hear it. They've shown me what they're capable of and how willing they are to do the work that I give them and they show pride in their work.
I still have a lot of work to do in my 3rd block, but we're working on it. They have gotten gypped a lot due to shortened classes and it being lunch period. I don't take that as an excuse, but we need to work together before I will be able to openly love them and share in the pride of our work.
I'm proud of my students and what they are doing. We have our days of boredom and excitement. We have our days of tension and relaxation... Ultimately, we're working toward a common goal of success...
I think it's time to show them what they are working for... show them what success can look like. I look forward to decorating my classroom with college banners... And I don't want them from local schools. I want my kids to travel the country and world. My alma mater will be representing on our walls.
Maybe I'll make it an extra-credit project. Choose one person that is your role model, research their life. List their strengths and where they have been challenged. What have they overcome to become successful and how did they work hard to get where they are. What have their rewards been?
I'm out for the night. Teaching is hard, but it gives me Peace.love.Happiness.