What an emotional day. The guidance counselor came to see me 2nd hour, and said that the father of one of my girls in 7th hour just arrived home from Afghanistan after 6 months, and wanted to surprise his daughter in my class! Was I okay with it? Uh, yeah. What was I supposed to say? :) She filled me in on the details, and the day dragged on and on. I cleaned my desk, and the area around the front of my room where things tend to collect. I kept watching the clock for 2 o'clock.
Finally, 7th hour started. My kids were unfazed that 4 extra students were sitting in the room (yearbook and newspaper students) but noticed the large Channel 9 camera right away. I had to play it off--oh, they are filming us for some future segment on the news--and they were all excited about that. I could hardly get them to calm down. Class starts at 2:01, and I was told they'd come in at 2:07. So I rambled, and rambled, not really sure what I talked about. I was so nervous my hands were shaking. I was terrified I was going to mess it up somehow. The kids were settling down at this point. But they still weren't coming in, and it was after 2:10. I'm sure I sounded like a blubbering idiot to the cameraman, because I was just rambling incoherently about who knows what.
Then the guidance counselor came in, and her dad followed. I think everyone else in the room saw him first before she did...took her a few seconds to look up. But oh....when she saw him. Words can not describe when she saw him. At this point, my class figured out that this was something special, not just some random future segment. Most looked surprised, many smiling, some looking like "what just happened?"
Apparently the hallway outside my room was filled with students from yearbook next door, teachers and secretaries. Someone said there was probably 20-25 people in the hallway outside my room, trying to see, most of the women crying.
Lots of pictures and video were taken in the front of my room by the door, then she floated out on a cloud with her dad, leaving all her stuff behind. I packed it up and sent it with her mom.
It was an amazing, moving experience. I've never experienced anything remotely like that in my classroom in my 14 years teaching, and I'm sure nothing can top that. I feel so honored to have been apart of it, and I can't wait to see her in class again to find out what she thought.
Some pictures from our yearbook photographer:
video that ran on KMBC tonight at 6.
What a day. I'm still getting goosebumps just thinking about it!