Today started the end-of-year conferences, where I give suggestions for next year, hear what parents are happy about this year, etc. I had 6 tonight and they went wonderfully. I heard such great praises from parents, which is always so heart warming. As a teacher, you want to know you made a difference. You can see it in the children, and hope others see it too. So when you hear it from a parent, or several for that matter, it really does make your heart smile.
I also received a bag of special fruit from Taiwan today. :) That was a nice and unexpected treat. But, even more unexpected was the second gift I received - a dress. Yes, a dress!! The other day, I told a parent how much I liked her dress. It was beautiful! Well, I tried to tell her, but she doesn't speak any English, so I grabbed our librarian, who happened to be passing in the hall, and asked her to translate. She did. Today, I got the same dress!! I was in total shock. First, I was in shock that this parent went and actually got me the dress. Then, I was in TOTAL shock when I saw the price tag!! This dress cost more than most of my plane tickets this summer between the various countries! I am almost afraid to wear it! It is considered very rude here to not accept gifts, so I can't tell her no. I was nearly in tears at her generosity to me. This is the same parent who was very generous at Chinese New Year, and then again when I was sick - making a HUGE batch of homemade dumplings for me when I got back to school. She asked my para what I like to eat and my para told her how much I love dumplings. She made enough that we ate on them all week!
I am always overwhelmed by such appreciation and kindness from someone. I have no idea how I will ever show my gratitude to this person, but I will certainly try. These last few weeks, I am going to try and cherish every moment I can, more so than I have been, knowing that these kids and these families will not be "mine"
next year. And I have been so very fortunate to have them this year.