Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The feeling is REAL


"As long as you are in my life, I am not going to let quitting be easy for you.  I am going to challenge you, confront you, push you, and coach you.  You can whine.  You can throw a tantrum.  You can shout and swear and stomp and cry.  And the next day, guess what?  I will be here waiting — smiling and patient — to give you a fresh start.  Because you are worth it." Read the full teachers's story here. It is the best thing I have read in a really long time.

I always heard that saying, "If you love what you do you won't work a day in your life," and today that saying came to life for me. 

Now, anyone who says teachers have an easy job...my classroom is open to visitors!! Come and see just how easy my job is. But, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about how much I love my job. Yesterday my decision to be a teacher has never felt so right.

Yesterday was our science STAAR test and the kids were beat by the end of the day. These days can be exhausting even though we aren't really physically doing anything. Everyone is basically on lock down and you have to stay quiet all day, which is really hard for everyone in the situation.

We got our kiddos math and reading STAAR scores back last week and I have been dying to tell them the good news, so after everyone was finished with their science test, we were able to let students know how they did.

Just to give you some quick background information, I teach at a Title I school. Click here if you are unfamiliar with what that means. The struggles educators go through on a daily basis are far more complicated than math, science, and reading. These kids need us, and we need them.

I really don't know any other way to say this than just saying it. Telling my students their scores yesterday literally brought tears to my eyes. Some of my babies have struggled year after year. They are told that they can't do it or they won't ever be able to pass. I wanted to change that mindset, and I did.

One of my babies burst into tears after I told her that, not only did she pass both tests, but she exceeded the academic proficiency level. My heart was bursting with joy and my eyes were filled with happy tears. To know that she worked so hard to pass this test and the results paid off is more than I could ever ask for. I held her as she sobbed and I told her how proud I was of her. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.

Another one of my babies has never been able to finish a test in time. This particular cherub and I have been working on pacing throughout the year in order to ensure that he could complete the test before the time was up. And guess what?! It paid off! Again, happy tears. This baby said, "I don't know if I can ever get this smile off my face!" Melt my freaking heart, why dontcha!!

I'll be honest for a moment. I am no Mrs. Nice Guy. The way my class works is pretty simple. Everyday we learn something and that night for homework you do a worksheet over whatever we learned that day. When you turn the worksheet in the next day, I grade it and, if you miss a problem, you stay in for recess. Simple as that. At first, my kids thought I was the "hardest everrrrrr," (seriously, that's exactly what they would say) but it only took a short while for them to start buckling down and realizing that I mean business and that I was being hard on them because I knew they could do it. 

By the time testing season rolled around, my cherubs were begging to stay in for recess to get help on their homework. At first I couldn't hardly get them to stay, then I couldn't get them to go play! In class, they would straight up admit when they didn't understand something, and the dynamic of my classroom changed for the better. Finally, my babies weren't embarrassed when they didn't understand something, they weren't afraid to ask questions, and they weren't afraid to admit they were wrong. And let me tell you. All those recesses spent with me paid off.

People, this is real. This overwhelming emotion is real. My heart is so full! 

I know this test isn't what school should be about. I won't even get into that debate because it is like beating a dead horse. But what I can say is that for students like mine, they see this test as almost the impossible. They dread it and they hate it more than anything. Then, to see them conquer it, man...I can't even begin to tell you how that feels.

It makes me sad to even think about this year coming to an end. This first year of teaching has been more than I ever hoped for. These kids changed me. They have me wrapped around there little fingers and they know it. I would do anything for them and I pray that I have made even the slightest impact on their life...even if I am the "hardest teacherrr everrrrrrr."

Photobucket

7 comments:

  1. That was such a sweet post! I am only 22 and about to start gradschool and I have never in my life thought that I could be a teacher or really wanted to be a teacher until I read that.I literally started tearing up! haha! I have such a soft spot for kids and want more than anything to help all of the kids I can. Teachers really do have the hardest job and don't get enough credit! Who knows maybe one day teaching will be in my future as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ashtyn! Sorry for the late response. These little cherubs have been quite a handful lately :)

      I pray that you are led in the direction that is meant for you and if that turns out to be teaching, you won't regret it for a minute....even when you have weeks like this one has been :))

      Let me know if you have any questions about teaching!

      Delete
  2. Okay, you just made me cry. So proud of you and your little cherub.

    ReplyDelete
  3. oh ok I'm tearing up. this is amazing. teachers change lives and this just makes my heart burst.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my gosh, now I'm crying. Your dedication to your students is so incredibly touching. I wish we had more teachers like you. What a rewarding career!

    ReplyDelete
  5. SO proud of you sweet friend!!! If only all teachers cared about their students as half as much as you do! Love your heart and integrity you have for this profession. )

    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW what a beautiful, intense post. I know teachers don't have it easy. I have tutored on and off for 7 years at a school system in MI from elementary, to middle school and high school levels so I know it ain't easy. I am sure your students' hard work paid off. You are already a fabulous teacher right on your first year. What do you teach?

    ReplyDelete

Pin It button on image hover