Sweet Surprises

It is a known fact known by teachers in the states and those who love them that one man's trash is any teacher's treasure.
While the joy of teaching comes with many gifts...knowing you're touching countless lives, being able to plant the seeds of learning that will grow over time, and all that other cheesy business, it also comes with a predisposition to develop a very serious condition--hoarding.

Not joking.
I've known a lot of teachers who just can't.let.go. of things that really need to be let go of. I am an admitted children's book hoarder. The only thing that's preventing me from living under a pile of James Marshall and Tomie dePaola publications is the lack of funds to spend on them at the moment. But if I were Mama Fat Sacks over here trust me, you'd have to pry my little brown hands off of every children's book in Rome.

Anyway, it's been a tough week for me so far, and it's only Wednesday morning! We're growing a lot at the schoolhouse and we have tons of requests. I feel like I'm constantly on the look out for the right types of teachers...ones that care sincerely. Ones that aren't just in it to make a buck. Ones that want to teach because they feel like it's they're calling, not just because you can make a truck load of money doing it in Rome.

And then, just as I was about to curse it all and throw my hands up in frustration, a series of events happened that let me know what matters is that WE are in it for the right reasons, and those who come to the schoolhouse or have someone come to them can feel the difference.

First, a teacher showed up to interview looking for a career, not just a job. And she's prone to children's book hoarding as well, which I just might as well put on the next job postings as a requirement. She feels most comfortable working with kids. I hired her.

Second, a mom from the states showed up to playgroup with her five-year old, fantastic daughter (I already give private lessons to the older one) and enough toys and goodies to rival Santa...and a smile.
(Shameless plug: The English Schoolhouse is TOTALLY cool with and appreciative of donations of STUFF! WE LOVE IT!)

tons of educational dvds and movies!

a ton of stuffed animals...can't keep them all, but there were some real goodies in there!
Like that Big Bird puppet!

this is Leo hoarding

The kids and I were equally thrilled...and just 30 minutes or so later, the doorbell rang.

and in walked the sweetest surprise of the day.
You know, from DIY with Marghe?! She contributes her crafty fabulousness to our blog sometimes.
 "I was just talking about you in my lesson (The English Schoolhouse sends a teacher to her home) and I thought, I really want to see Tamara. I don't care about my homework right now. I'm going."
She popped by to visit all the way from the center.
and brought me lil' something from my favorite bakery in Rome, Made.

if I tried to put how delighted I was into words I'd fail, so I won't.
I showed her around and asked excitedly, "Whatdoya think?!"
Her response was important for three reasons:
1. Margherita is a very honest person. If she doesn't like it, she'll say it.
2. She's a teenager, so she knows awesome when she sees it.
3. It was her first time seeing the school

After quietly looking around a bit she replied, "It's Tamara. Tamara is an adjective. It's completely you. So cool."

And I beamed and thanked her.

She stuck around awhile, and shortly after she arrived Ella sounded out my name for the first time that I've seen, and wrote it on her own.

Such a great day.

And then I checked my facebook account this morning and got the following message from a certified first grade teacher who is moving to Rome in January and will be teaching with us--

I have a bunch of leveled readers that I use with my kids. With that be helpful to bring with me to Italy? I mean they're print outs, but they're still good to use

Sometimes you just have to kick back and take it all in...and admit that even with all the ups and downs of being a start up school, life at The English Schoolhouse sure is sweet.

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