My third period freshmen pulled a surprise party on me today. Well, actually, three girls from my third period were the ringleaders. These girls aren't the ones a person might expect to plan such an event, and I was touched and shocked.
This little girl was the main impetus behind the surprise and organized all the food (and there was an amazing amount of food). She's my one student this year who's also a young mother, and her own mother has been in and out of jail all year. I can read between the lines and I know that the deprivation in her life is profound, yet she apparently saved up her money to buy me food and flowers.
Apparently one morning last week we were discussing our favorite foods, and she quietly took notes. They had strawberries dipped in chocolate, banana pudding, pizza rolls, even cheesecake. And then there was this lovely bunch of hot-pink roses! The confetti and streamers were because they arranged for the front office to call me out of the room, and when I returned they showered me with all of it.
The outpouring of love from my students has been incredibly surprising to me. They seem truly disappointed that I won't be back next year, and I'm grieved to leave them. There isn't one of them I wouldn't take home with me, even the stinkers. I genuinely love them, and it's been encouraging to receive that love back from them.