Not many things bring me to tears, but a group of kids did today.
My day today was split between the middle school and high school. I began by walking into the office of the local middle school this morning and the ladies behind the counter handed me a stack of papers. Not looking at what was included in the stack, I quickly grabbed them up and started making my way down the hall to my classroom.
The tardy bell had not yet rung, and I began to go through the days curriculum before me. I was stopped short when I noticed that the stack of papers I was given - contained all hand written notes from the 4th hour English class, all addressed to me.
My heart sunk as I soaked in the words that were written. Tears came to my eyes. There before me were kind letters seeking apologies, for a day of disruption that I had long forgotten- to me it was in the past.
I remember that day. I was leading the class through a study about Martin Luther King Jr. One of the ending projects was to draw their hand prints on a colored piece of paper and write a short statement about what Dr. King had done for them. Once cut out, their paper hands would then be placed on the walls lining the hallways of the school for all to see. A few rowdy kids and the lesson took a turn.
A few rowdy kids and the lesson took a turn
To receive these letters re-affirmed that what I am doing as a teacher is worth it. The students are worth it. We have all been there at one point in our lifetime. We have been to that place called 7th grade. Even at my age, the memories of my own classroom experiences are as vivid as if they were yesterday.
A lot of grown-up decision-making skills are being taught at this young stage of life known as 7th grade. Pride, honor respect, dignity, and great lessons on "liberty", are ingrained into each of us during these tender years.
Greatest lesson "Liberty".
I didn't think my day could get much brighter - but it did. My afternoon shift at the high school was also to be one I shall remember. Sneaking into the classroom during the lunch hour, I sought some down time before the next class. That wasn't to be the case, as two students burst through the door all smiling and bubbly, breaking my moment of silence.
Tatum, who is a senior, and her companion were wanting to use the large classroom space to teach the promenade dance to those who wanted extra practice during the lunch hour. For the next half-hour, I watched the pair glide across the room, almost effortlessly. They graciously assisted the students who came to practice, helping them to overcome that awkward fear of dancing with a partner for the first time.
At the end of their session, I was presented with a couple's duet of the entire dance. It was a beautiful promenade dance complete with lifts and turns. It was very elegant. The young lady Tatum choreographed the entire piece herself - all the parts. It was a joy to watch.
This is why we teach
Everything in life is a learning lesson, and everything in life is worth learning. Ode to the teachers who have spent their lifetimes teaching children the value and principles of our society. Ode to the professors who provide our young adults with the skills that they will need to be productive and successful citizens in the world they will quickly enter.
As teachers we all know
- No it isn't always easy
- Somedays you just want a snow day
- There are going to be growing pains - some of those pains will be your own
- They will surprise you, each and every student
- They will test you with their knowledge, and sometimes they will win, sometimes they will lose
- They will frustrate you, excite you, laugh and joke with you
- They will challenge your authority, and then turn just as quickly and march beside you
- If they stayed in class the entire time THEY LIKED YOU!
Then one day, they will grow up and graduate, and move on without you. But they won't forget the lessons you taught them, and you won't forget the lessons they taught you either. You will miss them.
Thank you middle schoolers - you are my favs!