Friday, January 3, 2014

I teach


 I have always dreamed of being a teacher. I would often play school with my younger sisters and dolls growing up. Not until I was interning did I really realize what I being molded into. 

 Many people think teaching is easy; summers off, holiday parties, teacher appreciation week, two weeks off for Christmas, etc. But unless you have been in the classroom, you just don't know. The number of lives I have already been apart of makes my heart full.

 For many of my students I am someone that will listen to them. From me asking about their favorite tv show to what they ate for breakfast, I listen. These children I teach need someone to listen. When I listen, they begin to trust me. 

I teach them to think. Not just in an educational way, but to think beyond what the text says. Think about their feelings. Think about their futures. Think about their tomorrows. Just think. 

I listen to their questions. Questions deeper than what I am teaching. Questions about life. Questions about friendships and their education. Opening their minds to ideas of helping others and becoming a better person.

I support struggle. According to Merriam Webster the definition of struggle is: 
to try very hard to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems.
No I don't like seeing my students struggle, but to watch a child not understand how to add with regrouping, and then one day he finally has a light bulb moment, reminds me of why I am teaching. I can finally see success stem off of struggle. 

I learn every single day. I learn from my students. I learn from other teachers. I learn from parents. I learn how to love the unlovable. I learn how to have more patience. I learn about other students cultures. I learn about my students family traditions. I learn how to speak Spanish, the language of many of my students. 

But then I teach. I teach these kids how to be friends, how to care for one another, how to show respect. I teach them how to have fun. I teach them how to be thankful. More importantly I teach them that they can and will go to college. 

Is my job easy? No. Not in the least bit. But having the chance to shine and pour my love and knowledge into these 24 kids is the best thing ever. 

The days are difficult and long, but this is what I do. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. These 24 kids make me laugh, smile, cry, yell, dance and jump up and down. I love what I do. 

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One day I allowed a student to help me clean up my desk a bit. I showed him how to line up all the papers, making sure they were straight and facing the correct way. Then I modeled how to use the hole puncher and let him hole punch a few papers. When he was finished he put them into a binder for me. Moments later his bus was called and he walked out the door. I was beginning to pack up to head home when he ran back into the room saying, "Ms. V, thanks for letting me help you today. I want to be a teacher like you when I grow up. Maybe one day I will be your teacher."

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This is my passion. I teach. 

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