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Flashcards for Grownups and Notes of Praise

     It came to me as I was preparing for school yesterday; these questions my teenagers and students pose to me are like flashcards.  Here's an example:

Flashcard # 1
Situation:  Three inches of fresh snow on the ground...cold...winter... Teenage daughter in shortish dress, bare legs, and feet in slip-on pink Sketchers...

"Do, I really have to wear my boots to the car?  I mean, I'm just gonna be in the car and school...I won't actually be in the snow, barely at all."

     Five minutes later, older brother asks...

Flashcard # 2
Remember the situation from above? All this beautiful snow makes for bad roads.  Older brother has a driving permit...although he is going to take his driving test today...Lord, help me, for I think he will pass...Anyhow, he asks... 

"Can I please drive this morning, Mom?  I haven't got to practice on snow yet...?"

And then, at school after the pink slippered feet had donned boots, and the older brother had driven most the way to school...I may never explain that...

Because we were only practicing for the program and taking tests and unimportant things like that..students ask these questions...

Flashcard # 3
"Mrs. Hartman, can just two of us take the soccer ball outside and kick it around in the snow?"

Flashcard # 4 
Mrs. Hartman, if there's time before the pizza party, can you take us all over to the bakery for lattes and hot chocolates?"

Also remember, letting 2 out of 18 go out to play, would be like dangling fifty dollar gift cards in someone's face and saying, "You can only look at it." ... Another point... to leave the school property, without permission, with 18 kids, might be considered a crime.  To get said permission would probably take more than a day...

SO... On the flip side...
 There are also advantages to being a teacher.  I have collected sweet, written words that smite me every time.  Here are just a few:

      Dear Mrs. Hartman, thank-you for teaching me.  I will miss you over Christmas vacation.  I hope you like the chocolate and the gift card. [smiley face] Merry Christmas,
                                                       ******* 6th grade boy

Another one:

     Dear Mrs. Hartman, 
Thanks for being my school teacher.  You're the best!  I love you, Love,
            *********5th grade boy

Mrs. Hartman, I think this is the best year I have ever had.  It's so full of energy and interesting art projects.  Sometimes I think it is boring and something happens to make it fun.  Thanks for everything, ******5th grade girl

     Doesn't that just make you melt? I kinda turn into a puddle and feel greatly rewarded all at once.  Suddenly, the flashcard questions aren't so challenging.  I get a burst of energy realizing they ask the questions so they can feel the boundaries and appreciate guidance.

Now... I am going on vacation... Merry Christmas to all...


  1. Flashcard #5 So what happened on the way to school and did eldest son get the desired license? :-) Oops...that mighta been another flashcard! ;-)

  2. I commented here and I don't know what happened. Anyhow, I can tell you're a wonderful teacher and mom. God bless.


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