Love is...learning together and feeling safe to let your silly side show.
Today was my second to last day student teaching with my wonderful 3rd graders. It was almost as if the day was made for just for me and my kiddos. At noon my mentor teacher told me we were going to see the National Geographic Map in the gym. (Top Middle) When we walked in we saw that the map was spanning a huge portion of the gym and it was center on ASIA!!!! I have been preparing my students for my departure since I started there in August. They have been so supportive of my going to China...even when they tell me they wish I didn't have to go. =) The first thing I did was scan the giant map and Guangzhou, the city I will be teaching in, was on it! (Top right pic) The kids were so excited as they pointed out to the other classes and teachers where "Miss Hall is going." They found a poster on the wall that was all about China and quickly grabbed my hand to show me. "Miss Hall, look! Look what we found! It's China!!" I pointed out on the small map where i was going and my heart smiled as one of my more shy students exclaim excitedly to one of his classmates, "this is where Miss Hall is going soon."
Two other classes joined us and we played a very interesting version of Simon Says with geography. "Simon says, 'Chew bamboo in the mountains of China" (Bottom Middle Picture) "Act like a monkey in Africa!" (Bottom left) "Prowl like a tiger in India." (Top Right) They searched in teams all over the map to find places like Japan (Bottom Right). Giggles filled the gym as the did their best to walk like a Sumo, after I had demonstrated my excellent Sumo technique. =)
An hour later my class gathered right on top of China to take a group picture with me sitting on Guangzhou. We talked all day about things I would do and if I would bring things back from China to show them. If I would write them letters and they could write me. If I would be able to call them from China. They are so excited that my mentor and I are going to try use skype to set up a video chat between me and the class while I am there.
Belonging to these beautiful little spirits has been such an amazing experience. I love the big picture of us all sitting on China because when I am over there I will be carrying them and all the things they have taught me in my heart.