Hi everyone! We hope you are all doing well this evening.  We want you to know we are grateful for all our readers and the Hollywood-famous internet success you have made us in 2013 (obviously joking, but if you could only hear some of the “wait…YOU are Karley/Meaghan from Tale of Two Teachers?!” comments we’ve received, you’d feel Hollywood-famous too).  We plan to take a well deserved Blog Break during the next two weeks.  We love to blog and share our teaching lives with you, but we’ve both worked so hard this term and we need a serious rest.  We will likely post some pre-written book tales and travel tales over the break, but we’ll come back to you for real in 2014!  Until then, enjoy this last post about the Spirit of Giving in Karley’s class.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This week has been action packed, long, fun, crazy…come Wednesday this is how I felt:

This is my, "HELLO how is it only Wednesday?" face
This is my, “HELLO how is it only Wednesday?” face.  I texted this photo to my teacher friend, Tanya, and she texted me back with a photo of herself drinking her own Starbucks.  Survival mode.

However, despite the December-last-week-of-school insanity, there has been a glowing portion of this week that has set my heart on fire.  A teacher on my team has done hamper backpacks for people who are homeless for the past few years.  He usually takes on this initiative with his own class, but this season we expanded it to all three English track grade 8 classes (a huge undertaking!) For all of December our three classes have been bringing in their own hard earned cash and donating it to our “shopping fund”.  We also did a bake sale (thought up, planned, prepped and executed all within 5 school days) and raised $193 just from selling sugary goodness to our fellow school mates.  In total, our three grade 8 classes raised OVER $600 to go toward our backpack hamper initiative!!  My heart was so happy this Tuesday when we brought all 75ish of our students shopping downtown, with hamper lists in hand.  We spent our money on things people living on our city streets might need during the winter (e.g. socks, hoodies, toothbrushes, long underwear…etc.)  Following our shopping spree we all went to see a private viewing of The Hobbit II in 3D and the three grade 8 French immersion classes joined us there (yes, you read that correctly, six grade 8 classes in one movie theatre).  Tuesday was a solid day out of school!

giving1Yesterday and today some students spent their time organizing and piling up everything we purchased for our backpack hampers; we had enough to fill six backpacks, three female bags and three male bags.  Today my colleague and I took seven of our students to our local Mustard Seed and we gave our bags to some people there who are in extreme need.  It was a humbling experience for students and teachers alike.  Sharing the spirit of giving with students is my favourite part of my job.  I think educating kids to be mindful and caring of and for others is one of the best lessons a teacher can provide.  This natural season of giving has just been the start…I’m excited to see where 2014 leads us when it comes to service-minded learning!  I am so proud of our students.

In addition to all this goodness during the season of giving, check out how long my class’ Gratitude Chain is now:

Tomorrow, our last day of school in 2013, is pajama day! We are going to hang out in our jammies and read through everything we're grateful for.
Tomorrow, our last day of school in 2013, is pajama day! We are going to hang out in our jammies and read through everything we’re grateful for.

Joel and I are off to buy our Christmas tree now, and then I have 26 cards to make! One more day and then it’s a well deserved break for students AND teachers.  Enjoy, everyone!

giving4

Karley