Today was the big day! (Read this page first to find out why I have been fundraising to get my entire 6th Grade class new English Level 3 books!)
So, I was able to catch a ride in a car all the way to school so I didn’t have to carry all 21 books and workbooks – thank goodness! I had them all wrapped up in large plastic bags so no one could see what they were, and I hid the books in the teacher’s room until 6th Grade English class started. When I went into class most of the kids had their Level 2 books and Special English Notebooks out and ready for class….so they were surprised when I had Tamuna translate and tell them to put it all away for today.
I then gave a bit of a speech, which Tamuna translated to the class, and it went a little something like this:
I started by saying how very impressed I was with every single student in the room. Each of them has been trying very hard all semester and I can see that from their work in their notebooks as well as how much they talk to me during and between classes. I said they were been moving so fast through their Level 2 books that I got an idea. I asked them to remember the day I took pictures of each of the kids in front of their old chalkboard. *And they nodded a yes. I said, well I put those pictures up on my webpage. I told them I wrote about how awesome the class was and how smart they all were, and then asked my family and friends back home for help to 1) get them the new chalkboard they’d been using and 2) to purchase each of them a brand new English World Level 3 Book and Workbook. *I then grabbed the two wrapped stacks of books, put them on the table and unwrapped it in front of them. I told them that far away, there are people who have seen their pictures and loved them and wanted to help them learn English. *there was complete silence – the kids were astounded – they didn’t know what the right response was. I told them, that I have tried my very hardest to make it possible for them to keep learning English after I was gone and that they would have to continue to work hard in learning……and then they all started clapping, and wiping tears, and some even laughing and shouting!
I then called each kid by name, one by one, up to the front of the room. I gave them a huge hug and handed them their two new books. I had them write their English and Kartuli names in both books when they got back to their desks – and they did so with gusto! Then Tea’s turn came. She’s the girl who gave me my very first teacher’s gift. She wasn’t one of the strongest students in class and was very very shy and quite the entire semester. She came up to the front and I asked Tamuna to tell her this: I see her learning. I know she is learning but if she is going to be able to use this new book, she is going to have to start speaking more English out loud…and I know she can do it. She shyly nodded, a small grin of her face and eyes flaming with a sort of timid excitement. She turned back around and sat down.
Once every kid had their new books…I told them the surprises weren’t over yet! I then grabbed the two maps that I’d left outside and told that them these same people also bought 2 new maps for this classroom so there will be something on the walls now! We then took some pictures and hugged a bunch more and by that time the bell rung and class was over. I told everyone to bring any markers that they may have tomorrow – because we have some very fun and creative (thank you card) lessons ahead!
The best part for me, about this day was when I saw Toma run over to his mother after class and I heard him tell her in Kartuli what had happened…she smiled and nodded and told him that she already knew. He turned and looked at me – He couldn’t believe I’d been able to sneak this one by him – I had been able to keeep it a secret so he could be surprised with the whole class! All three of us smiled and school continued on that day.