Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Muffled Wings

It happens around this time every year. It hit me today like a ton of bricks! I realized that the school year is rapidly coming to an end. I was in meetings most of the day and we were saying things like, "He has come a long way since August.  This will be our last meeting on these kids.  We need to discuss appropriate 3rd grade placement for her." It always makes me sad. I start to wonder if I did enough, if I did the right things, if I could have done something different for better results. Maybe a lot of this is because I am an RtI teacher. The needs are so great! Which reminded me of something that has carried me through more than 17 years in the classroom. I would love to share it with you!

When I was a young, naive, college student, I was completing a field experience during preplanning at a local school. As a part of their back to school kick off meeting, they brought in a motivational speaker. The speaker began to talk about butterflies. He spoke of their gracefulness, vibrant colors, delicate features, and sheer loveliness. He said, "You will have students who will soon come to you as butterflies. They will have sweet manners, angelic faces, supportive families, and creative talents. Butterflies are easy to love! You will also have caterpillars who enter your room. Have you ever looked closely at a caterpillar? They are lumpy, hairy, clumsy, dull, and have unattractive features. There isn't much to love about a caterpillar. It often appears to be a glorified worm." He then paused dramatically and said something that I have never forgotten! He whispered, "Get close to the caterpillar. Look intently into its eyes. Then, listen with your heart and you will hear it.  Listen for the muffled sound of flapping wings!" (Okay, I got teary just typing that!) 

So many children over the years (this year included) have been such caterpillars.  Some days it takes a LOT of prayer to be able to hear their wings. Every now and then, they will give you a glimpse of who they are becoming. Celebrate it whenever it happens!  Celebrate when the autistic child makes eye contact with you! Celebrate when a student reads 5 words per minute faster than last month! Celebrate when a child with frequent emotional outbursts independently regains some self-control! You just experienced a rare event--you heard the muffled sound of flapping wings!

I made a little inspirational poster for my room.  I thought you might like your own copy, too.  Maybe you can use it as a little daily reminder to find the beauty in ALL of your students. You can download your copy by clicking the picture. 

The clip art and paper is from MyClipArtStore. You can visit her store here. The font is from Kimberly Geswein fonts. You can visit her store here.

I also happened to run across this paper in a desk drawer I was cleaning out the other day. I found this on my desk on the last day of school about ten years ago. It was from a precious girl who is now in high school! It made me smile then and it continues to bless my heart now! (Please excuse the spelling errors. She was in a hurry to get on the bus!)

I hope your last days with your butterflies and caterpillars will be fruitful and blessed!  Enjoy every minute before they flutter away!


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