November 12, 2018
By Rachel Kane
I am a middle school teacher in town, at Sedgwick.
We have advisory (homeroom) every morning. On Wednesdays, we spend 30 minutes at the end of the day, with our advisory class. Every year, we make cards to send to our veterans. I was sharing my excitement with the kids, telling them how Veterans Day is close to my heart, because my father is a proud (and still involved) U.S. Navy veteran.
They eagerly suggested that we make cards for him, one thing led to another, and they asked if we could throw a “surprise thank you” party for him, and disguise it as a “Q&A” session when we invited him in. As a retired teacher and current adjunct professor in the teacher prep program, he eagerly agreed to come spend one Wednesday afternoon with us, discussing his time in the Navy. His friend was also going to be in town from Virginia, and he is also a retired commanding officer in the Navy.
Throughout the past three weeks, and with support from my amazing supervisors and administrators (both of whom took time out of their insanely busy schedules to attend), my students worked daily on organizing this event. They made homemade cards, brought in food, flowers, and spent hours a week with me because they were so excited.
One student’s father is a singer, and he enthusiastically agreed to sing a tribute patriotic song to honor my dad. One student spent hours at home making homemade crapes with berries, all red white and blue (and PROUDLY told me she used her own money – melted my heart). She came equipped to serve, even wearing an apron! One student made a large American flag to be framed and all students signed it, and it said “honorary member of miss Kane’s 2018-2019 advisory.”
They decorated my classroom with balloons, streamers, and lots of other items. We also made our own t-shirts to wear, and made the two veterans t-shirts as well.
My dad, Greg Kane, and Dr. Jonny Moye were absolutely speechless. They both live very active and involved lives, and have accomplished great things … yet they expressed this was one of the most valued moments of their lives.
The best part of all this, was the compassion of the children.
THEY did this. THEY were the ones that planned everything, and THEY initiated all of the extra hours spent with me, to plan this tribute. As the students introduced themselves to the two veterans, they all personally shook the veterans hands and genuinely thanked them for their service.
The students had conversations with the veterans, all engaged and listening to every word of their stories. The respect my students showed, truly brought me to tears. Especially in a time where it seems there is always bad news, this reminded me two continue Focusing on the good – and that it is the future leaders who sit in my room every day.
The parents of West Hartford have done such an amazing job teaching their children love, compassion, and gratitude. How lucky am I, that I am surrounded every day by all of these children?
Happy Veterans Day, and THANK YOU to all who have served. We are eternally grateful.
With all of the love in the world,
Read the original post on we-ha.com.
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