To All My Teacher Friends

As I wind up the year in 97 degree heat, with no air conditioning in our building as you’ve all heard me complain about, it’s the little things which make the year worthwhile.

I won’t remember asking Jerod if he’d like to get out from under the table to join us for Spelling, or Te’Sean if it’s possible for him to lower his voice just a little bit. I won’t remember Jabril saying, “I don’t get it,” and when asked which he part, he’d look to the ceiling and say, “All of it.”

I won’t remember Field Day, last Friday, which was a never ending stream of “That’s not fair!” “He’s pushing!” “Jerod’s disqualified, and he won’t get out of the game!” “I’m hot!” “I’m thirsty!” “My thumb got jammed!” “Can I get a drink? Please?!”

I won’t remember the CBM (Criterion Based Measurement) scores we have to collect and analyse every month, or the Early Start Wednesdays when we have Professional Development and talk about things like Assessment for Learning and Target Goals. I won’t remember who’s on red, yellow or green according to the triangle of data. I won’t laugh about what I saw in education in 1984 now coming around again in 2011 as though it’s something new.

It’s the little things I’ll remember. Like the bouquet that Angelin and her mother made me from flowers in their garden which I found sitting on my desk this morning. Without a word, I knew it was from her as I looked up and saw her shining eyes over by her backpack. It’s each child’s individual effort, and unique spirit, that have made my year a special one.

As we look forward to a well deserved Summer Break, my friends, may you rejoice in all the good you’ve affected in the children around you. And, may they grow in all the knowledge and strength which we have tried to impart on them.

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25 thoughts on “To All My Teacher Friends”

  1. C. B. James, I hope your year is wrapping up nicely. It is middle school aged children you teach, right? I often think I'd like that age.Helen, trying to put a positive spin on what has been a very difficult year. With some of the children I have, I wonder if they wouldn't have been better served in an environment especially suited to their needs.Becca, come Wednesday you might hear the sigh of relief from Illinois! I'll be reading with my coffee long into the morning, perhaps until noon?Bermudaonion, I think school was designed in the states to have Summer off more for the teachers than the students. There's a reason the mothers rejoice in late August. 🙂

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  2. A Jar of HoneyYou hold it like a lit bulb,a pound of light,and swivel the stunned glowaround the fat glass sides:It's the sun, all flesh and no bonesbut for the floating knuckleof honeycombattesting to the nature of the struggle. Jacob Polley.

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  3. Amen sister! These things we remember are what make it all worthwhile. Every little (or big) life we touch. And they certainly touch ours.

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  4. Beautiful post, Bellezza! It was wonderful to read about the bouquet that one of your students brought for you. I also loved this line – "I won't laugh about what I saw in education in 1984 now coming around again in 2011 as though it's something new." 🙂

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  5. I hope you have a wonderful summer and that those memories linger just a bit longer.My third grade teacher is the one I remember the best (she was also my second grade teacher so I had her for two years). In fact, when I moved to Dallas I wrote her letters for years and years. Bless her for taking the time to write the kid back. You really do make a difference in these young peoples' lives. I have no doubt.

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  6. Loved this post. I get the 'I don't get it', 'which part?', 'All of it' a lot but I'm developing patience. I'm in my second year of teaching and it's amazing how much my perspective has changed from the first.

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  7. Parrish Lantern, I love it when you respond with a poem. How do you have so many in your repertoire?Rachel, I'm sure I will miss it when it's time for me to retire (in a few short years). But, it surely isn't the job I began so very long ago. The requirements are ever growing, and I feel I have to be a special education teacher almosto more than a regular ed. Although, as our district administration says, "There is no difference between the two." Huh?Diane, trying to stay special. 🙂 xo

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  8. Ally, I love it when the kids think of you and offer to share something they have. One of my sweetest memories of Jerod, who gave me many tears, was him bringing me a popsicle during our Field Day lunch. Andi, when you think of it in terms of 'touching a life' it's rather awesome, isn't it? Of course, every little movement of every day touches a life in some way. When I'm crabby with someone in traffic, I'm touching a life. Even if it's in a way I wish I wouldn't have. (Like when I lost my tempter and flipped the bird to a lady who was On My Bumber. She said, "Nice finger!" when she pulled up next to me, and I, sweet woman that I am said, "Glad you liked it!" Oops.)Vishy, aren't the homemade things, like that bouquet, the best? There's not a store bought one that could touch it, in my opinion.

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  9. Trish, I love that your third grade teacher and you kept in touch. She wouldn't have written you back all those times if you weren't a special person in her heart.Tiny Library, it's funny how the longer you teach the more you feel you learn. (And, often, the more I feel I need to know!) There's never an end to education, which is part of what keeps it so gratifying.

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  10. And those little reminders always seem to come at the right time, don't they? As I was madly grading semester exams, I stumbled upon a note one of my students wrote me thanking me for a wonderful year that made her enjoy English for the first time. I teared up just a bit. Enjoy your summer break!

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  11. Aw, that's so sweet. And, pretty much what my son said. He got a nice card from one of his students saying she hated math until this year. You could hear him glowing through the phone line. 🙂

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  12. Les, sadly, this is a summer where I won't be missing all of my students. (Is that okay to say? It makes me feel like a traitor!)Kathleen, after this year, I probably should be unsung. Can I unscolding? 🙂

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