Friday, June 13, 2014

Keeping a Memory Book of Students

So much has happened since my last day of school a week ago!  Where do I even start?  You would think I would have all the time in the world to sit down and blog but not a second!  I am going to go back to the end of the school year to share something I do each year.  For the past 25 years, I have been keeping a memory book of my students.  It is so much easier to take pictures now than it was back in the day!  I would have to wait forever to finish a film roll and then get them developed.  By the time I got the pictures back, the memory was far gone.  Now, it is right at my finger tips!  Super easy.....no excuse!  My students love to look at the memory book.  What are their top 3 things they like the most? 

1.  The first thing they do is go back to the years when their siblings or friends were in my class to see them in my book.  It is so cute as they get excited to see them in this massive treasure!

2.  The next thing I hear is giggles.  Why?  Because they see my 80's hairdo!!!  Haaaaa!  My poodle hair!  They even question if it is me or not!  Ha!  I recently showed some of my colleagues this pictures and my "Hero" partner Roberta, who I call "Berta" laughed so hard she had tears in her eyes.  She wants to send it into Ellen.  We got on Youtube and she showed me some of Ellen's episodes where they reveal the bad hair.  It was hilarious! 

This isn't the one I have in the album-I left it at school- but you get the idea!:

3.  Their third favorite thing is to read cards and notes from my past students who are now grown up!  Each year, I keep a student address list.  When they graduate from high school, I send them a card along with a picture of them in my classroom.  I ask them to write to me and let me know what their plans are for the future.  Some of them come back to me because they have moved. :(  A few students continue to keep in touch over the years and even send me pictures of their own children!  It touches my heart.


Whether you are a first year teacher or a "seasoned" one, it is never too late to start a memory book!  It has been my prized possession and whenever I begin to get a little burned out, I flip through the pages and realize why I am teaching!  I love my students!

So why have I been so busy?  The day school got out, I had a flight to Pittsburgh to go help my sweet aunt get back into her house.  She was hospitalized two months ago and then had to live with her sister (who is also elderly) until I could get up there.  Since it was the end of school and I didn't have many personal days left, I told her I could come for a weekend, but I would be able to come for a week when school was out.  I left that very day we got out of school.  Since it is an 8 hour drive, I didn't want to waste a second so I flew.  Aunt Dolly never had children of her own.  She was married to my dad's brother and he passed away 5 years ago.  Last year, she lost her independence because her eye sight got so bad, she couldn't drive any more.  Then she was having pains and had slight heart attack.  While in the hospital, they realized she needed to be on oxygen.  She is NOT happy!  But the best thing about her is her amazing positive attitude!  She says, "It is what it is."  I wasn't sure what I was going to encounter getting up there.  I was praying I didn't have to put her in a nursing home.  God is good!  She is still very independent and isn't letting this stop her.  She is my inspiration every day!  She has a reader- magnifying glass with a light- to help her read and pay bills.  I didn't have to do that.  She has wonderful friends who take her grocery shopping, do her laundry, take her to doctors' appointments.  I didn't have to set that up.  She has all her finances and power of attorney in order.  Woo woo!  Sooooo, I basically had to help her get accustomed to her oxygen.  It was scary for both of us!  We tackled it with trial and error!  With the extra time, I cleaned up her balcony and got rid of all the winter junk and spiders so she can sit out there on nice days.  Then, my BFF came over and we painted her bathroom!  Aunt Dolly is not one to complain so you have to listen closely to remarks etc.  Last time I visited, she mentioned she was tired of the wallpaper in her bathroom for the last 40 years.  I had it on my list of things to do this summer when I visited.  Of course I couldn't tell her that!  She doesn't like anyone to do anything for her!  Dawn and I had to pretend we were just looking at it, then RrrrrrrIP!  We tore that wallpaper down and got to work!


I felt good about leaving because everything is in place for her.  AND I got her out and about!  However, my heart hurt and hurt bad to say good-bye!  I wanted to her to come live with us but of course she wouldn't have it.  Here is my sweet Aunt Dolly!

Now I am home for two days, driving my son to basketball and taking my daughter to minute clinic while trying to clean, do laundry, consoling a good friend with her husband in ICU, make appointments, etc AND get ready for vacation tomorrow!  Yes, we are going to Panama Beach, FL!  Woo woo!  I hope I don't sleep the whole time!  Like they say in the south, "This girl is WORN SLAP OUT!"  Stay tuned for fun photos!
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