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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Learning - Part Three

I don't think that's possible," she explained to her gregarious young students.

After she spoke, the wheels started turning. COULD they? Would it be possible? Would it be permitted by the school principal, by the board? Was it even considered an educational outing?

After much research, discussions, e-mails, and phone conversations the enthusiastic teacher came to the conclusion that, yes, the class had worked hard to earn that money and they could do with it whatever they liked.

Her stomach tossed and turned and did flip flops and she didn't sleep a wink that night in anticipation of telling the class the words that she knew they wanted to hear.

She and twenty-five grade four students were going to see a movie! At a movie theatre!

The timing would be perfect. Finding Nemo was opening in a couple weeks and there was a 12:10 p.m. showing that would enable the class to view the entire movie and return back to the school in time for dismissal so they could get on their buses. The students were beyond ecstatic. A frenzy enveloped the classroom over the next few weeks and the teacher watched in awe as the excitement grew within each of her students. At times she thought they just might explode.

She arrived at school on the morning of the planned movie outing. The school principal was waiting in the office for her. She examined his facial expressions and then felt something in the pit of her stomach . . . something that told her there was bad news to come.

"There's a problem with the bus you ordered, " he told her point blank.

"What kind of problem with the bus?" she asked, cautiously.

"Well, it seems as if it's not coming," he said.

This young teacher couldn't believe that all her hard work and planning - and far more importantly, her students' dreams to go see this movie were going to be flushed down the drain just because of a problem with the transportation department. She had permission slips and volunteers and expectations and most importantly an intense desire not to let her students down.

And so the teacher managed to find a drive to the movie theatre for all twenty-five students. In order for a student to be allowed to drive in a non-board vehicle they needed permission from a parent. So the kindest office administrator in all the world looked up twenty-five home phone numbers and helped that teacher telephone each and every one of her students' guardians that morning. By some miracle she managed to receive permission for every single student to be driven to the theatre. (But get these same parents to show up for a report card meeting? That she couldn't manage.)

The teacher chose Belle and two other students to ride with her in her tiny little Volkswagon. The other students rode with the school principal and the parent volunteers. When they arrived at the theatre, the teacher was greeted by two of her close friends who she had privately begged to come meet her that day in case something went wrong. While the teacher had grown and flourished and come a long way after a year of teaching, she was not bold enough to believe she could handle twenty-five students in a dark movie theatre on her own!

The teacher had added a chunk of her own savings to the movie fund so that there was ample money available for each student to to enjoy his/her own popcorn and drink. Within minutes, the teacher and her twenty-five students exhaled and relaxed back into their huge, movie-theatre seats. They had done it. Here they were . . . reaping the benefits of all their hard work. The young teacher couldn't help but smile to herself as she heard the boys a couple rows back giggling and making farting noises. She glanced knowingly at the little girls whispering among themselves, chattering so quickly only they could understand their seemingly foreign language. And as the lights dimmed and the music began to overwhelmingly take over the walls and the floor and the ceiling of that theatre, she stopped; not to watch the screen but to carefully analyze the faces and expressions of all the children around her.

Her heart ached as she watched so many of these little people who had terrorized her last September, who had made her doubt her own abilities and even her choice to become an educator, shed tears down their soft, round cheeks as Nemo's mother was killed by the shark in the very first few minutes of the film.

Little did those students realize the impact this little orange clown fish named Nemo would have on the world of animated movies and pop culture in the weeks and years to come.

And little did that keen and ambitious young teacher realize the impact this event would have on her for the rest of her life.


Chantal said...

Ohhhhh, Sniff sniff! What a beautiful story Shannon! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Christine said...

Hey I remember that movie...I came to help since you need more adults. It was a great day!!

A Crafty Mom said...

Well, now I know you do read my blog Christine, and I guess everyone knows who the teacher in the story is :)

You were a big help that day and I really appreciated it!!

Loukia said...

Shannon, I have tears. What a beautiful story. You're an amazing teacher.

Anonymous said...


Finola said...

A big hurrah to you, and other teachers like you, who make a difference. You are so appreciated!

Jenn @ My Not So Glamorous Life said...

THANK YOU for making a difference in the life of these children that I don't know. It could very well be, that you changed their lives, and propelled them to do great things... for themselves, and for the world around them.
What a heartfelt and touching story, it was a pleasure to read.

Capital Mom said...

You totally made me cry!

Rebecca said...

So fantastic! love these kinds of stories. sounds wonderful.

thanks for sharing

BeachMama said...

Oh Shannon, what a wonderful end to your story. Thank you so much for sharing. I am only sorry we didn't know each other back then as I too would have shown up at the Theatre to help you out.

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Julie said...

wonderful story. my husband has just started teaching and i can't wait for him to have these moments too. teachers rock!

Jenny said...

so nice! i would have loved to have a teacher like you!

coffeewithjulie said...

I love, love this post! And I love, love teachers! :)

Anonymous said...

Aw, the ending was worth the wait! Sniff!

andrea from the fishbowl said...

Love this. Teachers like you are making a difference. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hm hm.. that's quiet interessting but to be honest i have a hard time understanding it... wonder how others think about this..

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