April 22nd, 2014
Good things happen every day. We just need to help our kids learn to notice them and be grateful for them. These past 2 weeks, my students have had numerous opportunities to practice gratitude. We never know when a typical school day will turn into an extraordinary day. In just the past 2 weeks, my students and I have been overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness and generosity of the people around us. Read on and find out how we’ve been so blessed.
As you know, we love our social studies in 5th grade at UTES. Whether it’s Women’s History, The Great Depression, Civil Rights, or the Constitution, we love it. So when we went to Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, we missed the Civil Rights Summit here in Austin. If you cannot be in a place, the next best thing is hearing about it from someone who was actually there. That’s exactly what happened. Our beloved mentor and supporter, Mr. Mickey Klein, came to our classroom and shared his first-person experiences of the Civil Rights Summit. He brought 2 programs for our classes to have and shared the excitement and emotion of hearing 4 U.S. Presidents and others speak on Civil Rights. He also shared about knowing LBJ’s daughter and how her life was affected as a child in the White House. My students felt like they were there and had many questions for Mr. Klein and thoughtful comments about the Civil Rights Movement. We found ourselves in awe and grateful for the experience of hearing about the Civil Rights Summit from Mr. Klein. Since he visits our classroom every week, we run the risk of taking it for granted that he’ll be there rain or shine. Mr. Klein shares his life with us and has done so since most of my students were in 1st grade. We are truly grateful every time Mr. Klein joins our classes and shares his wisdom and love.
We were also reminded of the unexpected gifts we receive last week when our classroom bunny, Mario, needed to go to the veterinarian. I was given the name of a Brykerwood Veterinary Clinic by Dr. Melissa Chavez our Director who also had bunnies in her classroom years ago. I called and they have one veterinarian who sees bunnies, Dr. Biehle. He was scheduled to leave early that day and be gone over the long Easter weekend, but they said that I could bring him right in. My talented student teacher took over and I rushed to Mario to the vet. Dr. Biehle saw Mario and x-rayed his leg and shoulder. He found that Mario had a broken shoulder. He shared this information in a way that showed the utmost kindness and empathy. He explained that Mario needed lots of rest. He’d given Mario a shot for pain, trimmed his nails, and prescribed eye drops for his eyes which are almost gone (red-eyed bunnies often lose their eyesight). I, of course, was emotional and Dr. Biehle teared up along with me telling me that Mario might recover and he might not, and he was so very sorry to be the bearer of difficult news. As I waited to check out and get his prescription eye drops, Dr. Biehle came up, hugged my neck and said, “There’s no charge, and stop worrying so much.” Gratitude does not begin to express what I felt and what all 45 of our 5th graders feel towards Dr. Biehle. Mario is at home now recovering and doing well so far. He’s mastered the 3-legged hop and seems to be happy and content.
You never know when an unexpected gift will come your way. We’ve talked a lot in class about “paying it forward.” Gratitude starts with recognizing when someone has shown you a kindness or maybe even forgiveness. All we need to do is slow down and notice the gifts, great and small, that we receive and then show our gratitude. The last step – pay it forward. Thank you Mr. Klein. Thank you Dr. Biehle. Our UTES Lil’ Longhorn 5th graders will work hard to show others the kindness and generosity that you have shown us.
Who are you grateful for? Make sure you tell them, and then pass it on.