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Writing from the Heart

Written by Courtney Crimm
June 01, 2021

A year full of many twists and turns all while jumping through hoops and over ropes! My first year of teaching was far from normal. However,  I learned a lot- To go with the flow and let things go because sometimes, even in a year with a worldwide pandemic, crazy things happen right in our little town! Luckily, I had the help of one of the lovely people in the classroom right beside, Katye Butts, to help get me through the school year, as well as the writing project. She is one of those people that has a positive outlook on everything and it’s so comforting to be around. So shout out to Ms. Butts for being that extra push I needed on a lot of days! Without her, our writing project would not have turned out the same! Our event was originally scheduled to take place on February 11! This assignment was involving 2nd, 3rd, and 4th! The goal was for students to work with their parents to write a Valentine’s letter to residents in the local nursing homes and let them know how much we cared and that we were thinking about them! A ton of preparation went into this! We took their picture in front of an awesome heart backdrop to attach to their letter. We ordered cookies, decorated the two rooms we would be working in, and cut out hearts for the final draft of their letter. Due to COVID-19 students wrote their letters at home with the guidance of their parents. We spent several days making sure it would be absolutely perfect. Then out of nowhere we suddenly got the text that we would not have school the following day. City water issues were affecting our school and we had to be shut down. Hopeful that this water issue would be a quick fix it soon turned into missing many days of school! Then to make matters worse a snow storm came through and put many of us out of water and electricity causing us to be out of school as well! By this time our Valentines project was no longer going to work. We had to rethink and get busy planning a new idea! We took back what we could and passed our Valentine cookies out to the maintenance crews helping repair from  the storm! Finally, March 23rd came around and we were finally able to have our event! Some changes were made in what we were specifically writing but the concept stayed the same! We wrote letters to the residents about our experience. Being in West Texas a snowstorm is not something that typically happens. Many of our students had never seen that much snow before. On top of the snow, many were stuck in their house without electricity and water. So, we had students share what they went through, what they got to do, any fears they came across and how they got over them. The results were so awesome! The parents did a great job in helping their child express their thoughts and feelings. On the day of the event, students brought in the letter they created with their parents and helped bring more life to their letter. We provided students with many different art supplies to decorate their cards and make them look bright and beautiful! We were able to share a cookie with each student and talk among each other about the experiences we had. We hope to get some letters back responding to students about their experience and what they went through in the nursing home. I would say our event was a huge success! I loved getting to see the students working with their parents to create awesome letters and then adding finishing touches to create a letter that would make someone’s day!