This week I read a book to the class called The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. We have been reading books about character to the students all week.
I made it about half of the way through the book before I choked up. I read how the boy in the story took leaves from the tree to make a crown, and how he climbed in her branches for enjoyment. I read until he took all he could from her until he wanted more worldly things. My cooperating teacher gracefully finished the book for me because tears were streaming down my face.
While I was reading it I had a hard time pin-pointing what exactly made me so emotional. While the book is a sad one, about a selfish boy that takes and takes from a tree that gives and gives, I finally realized why I couldn’t finish the book.
The tree is a teacher! I also feel she could be a mother as well. We give up so much of our time and energy for our kids. We are resilient. We have limitless reserves. We give until we have nothing left to give, and even then we give even more.
How embarrassing that I cried in front of my students, kids that have way bigger issues to deal with at 8 years of age than I ever will! Thankfully, we have a positive classroom where crying is ok. My students were more concerned about why I was crying than about the end of the book. My favorite student, even though we aren’t supposed to have favorites, and a new student who did not know me at all, kept putting their hands in my arm in sympathy.
There is hope for the world, y’all. I just realized we aren’t treating our kids with enough kindness.