Shaddup Already!


This is why I teach

It was open house tonight at school and I was reminded why I teach. I have such a great group of kids that it would stand to reason that they have a great group of parents. Clearly the apples don't fall far from the trees.

I got two hugs and a couple of compliments on my teaching. Do you have any idea what that means to me?

My first year teaching was fraught with behind the scenes back-biting in a way that only God-fearing, Bible-thumping, southern Baptist women know how to do. My confidence in my teaching was shot to hell because every idea I had that strayed from the normal was "stupid" or "would never work." I spent last year taking baby steps towards being the creative, awesome teacher I think I can be. I finally got to a point where I am totally me. I'm more me when I'm teaching than any other time.

I finally have a team that doesn't always agree with what I do, but they support me. I have finally gained the confidence to try some new things that are working very well, thank you very much.

Tonight I saw students nudging their parents when I talked about something. "She's gonna talk about Brady!" Kids who care enough about my class to talk to their parents about it. I saw parents who knew what their kids were doing in my class and it brought a smile to their faces.

I have two people that I am truly concerned about. One is the mother of Aaron, the boy who passed away right before school started. The other is a student who just isn't adjusting well. Both moms came and gave me a hug. Do you know how special that is?

On my way out to the car a mother stopped me and told me how much she appreciates my teaching style. Her son loves my class and she is really happy about that. Hell, I'm happy about that. That one simple comment put a silly grin on my face for the entire drive home. And the funny thing is, I could see the mom was a bit nervous about saying it. I've been in that position too. You want to give someone a compliment, but you're afraid of what they will say or think of you. Personally, I could have hugged her.

I truly live an amazing and blessed life. I don't know what I did in a past life to deserve this, but I really appreciate where I'm at right now. Sometimes I take my job for granted, but then there are days when I realize how many lives I touch. I forget that sometimes, but I really need to remember it. I never want to touch those lives in a negative manner, nor do I want to lose my awe at the luck I've had in my life. I teach. Wow. What an amazing thing, really.

I know tomorrow I'll be back in a society that underpays teachers; that relies on one-sided, biased tests to determine if a teacher is doing their job; that forces me to teach the same amount of information to someone who isn't fed, who falls to sleep hearing gunshots, who doesn't know if mom is going to get drunk or if dad is going to get busted for selling drugs again. Tonight, I'm still in the afterglow of meeting parents who care about their kids and value education. Tonight I have all the support in the world. I'm just going to enjoy that while it lasts.

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