Saturday, June 15, 2013

Goodbye Willow Canyon!

Willow Canyon Elementary 
Sandy, Utah
Mrs. Hembree's 1st Grade Class
2012-2013
My 23 Amazing Students
JC and Maddie
Keely and Lola
Andrew and Isabella
Mason and Parker
Izacc and Madison
Nikkole and Brianna
Ian and Johann
Nathan and Josilyn
Jake and Sara
Natalee and Audrey
Josie and Candace
Joey

The Teacher- Mrs. Hembree


Wow! I can't believe that I am already writing this post about the end of the year. It seems like just yesterday that I got the job to teach 1st grade at Willow Canyon and I was setting up my classroom. And now.....bam! The year is over before I even realized! I was blessed this year with the class from heaven. I think that God knew that I could only handle so much my first year of teaching so he blessed me with the perfect class. When people would ask me, "So, who is your favorite student?" I would honestly answer, "I don't have a favorite. They are all my favorite." And that is the complete truth. Every single one of my kids was obedient, smart, kind, hard working, ready to learn, cute, and so sweet. I got so lucky! I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids to have for my first year of teaching.

The last week of school was a blur! Kenzie, my niece, came to visit Utah with her family for the Taylor Swift concert. She came to school with me for a day. She is in 1st grade in Coeur d'Alene, so I thought it would be fun to show her my 1st grade class and for her to see me as Mrs. Hembree instead of Aunt Kell. She had a hard time remembering to call me Mrs. Hembree! She was so popular and all the kids were so nice to her. Everyone was fighting over who was going to play with her. One recess Kenzie looked at me and said with a smile, "Everyone wants to play with me!" My kids were so nice to her even though she was new. That is just the kind of class that I had this year. Such kind kids.

Monday also brought the last Monday Meeting assembly that we had for the year. The final pride paw tickets were drawn and some kids got to go up and choose prizes. Then we got to watch the 5th and 6th grade perform a talent show for us! They did such a great job. In the afternoon, we practiced our hamster dance for the dance festival.

Tuesday was our 1st grade field day! We had two great moms from our class plan stations for the kids to do outside. We had 6 stations total with super fun games. The kids had a blast! We ate popsicles afterwards to cool us down. Tuesday afternoon was our ice cream end of the year party. Tons of mom volunteers came in to help and we made our own homemade ice cream in Ziploc bags. Each table made two recipes and they mixed up the ingredients at their desks. Then we carefully poured the ice cream liquid into bags and then put ice and rock salt into another bigger bag. The ice cream bag went inside the ice bag. Then we all went outside and threw our bags around until they turned into ice cream! Some ice cream bags got more firm than other ice cream bags, but for the most part it was a success! We hurried inside and quickly got the ice cream into bowls before it melted. Then each kid brought in an ice topping to share and we ate our ice cream with toppings. It was a ton of fun but a ton of work too and I was exhausted afterwards! Good thing I had such great mom helpers. I couldn't have done it without all of them!

Wednesday was the school field day. I was actually absent that morning because of an emergency root canal appointment......have to blog about that one later......but I came at lunch and brought pizzas from Domino's for our class pizza party! The kids were so excited to see me, or maybe they were just excited to see the pizza! They were swarming me and telling me how glad they were that I was back and hugging me. I just love those kids! Then we had our final class store where the kids got to spend their last end of the year tickets that they have earned on pizza and soda.

Thursday we had our class talent show (Willow Canyon's Got Talent) and it was a huge hit! I was so proud of each one of them for preparing something to do for the show. They all did so great! We had hula hoopers, jump ropers, magicians, piano players, story and poem readers, violinists, dancers, artists, basketball players, and even some hand standers! They all did such a great job. We had lots of parents come to support and we had a great morning together. Thursday afternoon was our final field trip to the Sandy fire station. We walked over to the fire station because it isn't too far from our school. The kids were fascinated by the fire truck and all the things that are put inside of it. They asked so many questions and learned so many things. They even got to see a real firefighter put on his firefighting gear and learn how he fights fires!

Friday was our last and final day of school. :( I was pretty emotional from the start. I had some amazing parents bring so many goodies and gifts for me. I was overwhelmed by their kindness! My students wrote me cards and notes that were so cute. I knew that I should have brought my makeup bag because with all the emotions that day, there would be a lot of tears. Tears always means makeup smearing everywhere and then me not looking so cute. But I wasn't that prepared. :)

In the morning, we got to go outside and watch our 5th and 6th graders have a volleyball tournament. Then we came back inside and I showed the class some pictures from my travels to London, France, and Morocco that I thought they would love to see. The dance festival was the final activity of the day. It was held in the gym and every grade has a dance ready to perform. The 1st grade did the "Hamster Dance," and the kids did great! They were so brave to perform in front of the entire school. It was so sad to say goodbye to them and to see them walk out of the door for the last time. I am really going to miss all of them. I already do! I feel like they are my own kids! I tried to make the goodbyes quick so I wouldn't get too emotional. They are the best group of 1st graders and I am going to miss them so much.

The other down part of the last day was I got the stomach flu. I know. Who gets the stomach flu on the last day of school anyway? Well I did. I started feeling a little sick about 9:00 AM but didn't think much of it. During the dance festival I felt really sick and was hoping that I would be okay until the kids left. After school ended, I felt like I was going to die and just needed to get home. I did what I absolutely needed to get done by Friday and then left the rest to clean up for later and hurried home. And the rest of the night was awful.....(I'll spare you the details) but the next day about 11:00 AM I finally felt like myself again. Glad to be done with that awful sickness! I hope none of my kids caught it!

But.....what an amazing year this has been! The best kids, the best parents, and the best year. I loved every minute of it. I hope they always remember that I love them, not to say the c-word (can't), and that they can do anything that they put their minds to. I know that they are going to grow up to be such wonderful people who accomplish such great things. So have a great summer my little kiddos and good luck in 2nd grade! I will miss you!