Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Confessions of a teacher.

My classroom

Teaching is JUST like any other job. You have your days when you love it, and you have your days when you ask yourself "Why? Why? Why did I pick this profession?" Today was one of those days. I've taught 4th grade for 3 years.....and honestly, I wouldn't want to do anything else. I've been in the corporate world and quickly found that chasing after the almighty corporate buck was not for me. The draw of summer vacations and 4:00 ending days lured me in. But slowly, I started to realize that I loved teaching....it fit. I was good at making things fun....and the kids were good at laughing at me when I made mistakes. Oh, I laugh too, of course! I couldn't have picked a better age group to start with - I mean, in 4th grade they LOOOOVVVVEEE their teachers and are still scared of them! Perfect!

But the days DO get long occasionally. And mostly? I get more frustrated at the things I can't control.....like if they get a good meal the night before...or a parent that constantly makes excuses for their child....if they are sitting in clean clothes or not.....or the lack of any parent or parenting at home at all.

I teach an all inclusive class, so I have the same children all day long. Social Studies, Math, Reading, Language, Spelling...the whole caboodle. Today...like I said, was one of "those days". I tried to start off the day smiling, reminding myself that I am to influence them with my Christ-like behavior and attitude. That gets me as far as 8:15. Then it hits. 5 children show up without homework and with many excuses. Others show up with work that looks like it's been rolled up and used as toilet paper. And then there are the ones who are ALWAYS doing their best, sitting there....suffering....as I lecture, again, on how in 4th grade "we should know how to be responsible." A phrase uttered almost 100 times a day.

I see the days of "yes ma'ams" and "no sir's" slowly fading....no matter how hard I try to remind them. I see Youth Sports taking over the lives of our children. I see respect towards elders nearly gone. I see the glint of excitement about school and the things that come with it (pep rallies, competition, classmates, etc.) fading, and worse, I see a culture of kids who have everything and feel like they need nothing.

What's a teacher to do? Pray. Promise. Promote. Push on.
Pray for strength and wisdom.
Promise to do my best for them.
Promote college! (As a faithful Aggie graduate, I ALWAYS talk about college....A&M/t.u. rivalry...anything to get them interested!)
Push on.
(I should be a preacher...a 4 point alliteration!)

What's a parent to do? Support. Support. Support.
Those few bad teachers out there give a bad name for us all. MOST of us have only the best in mind for your children. Really. So support your child's teacher. Even if you don't necessarily agree with EVERYTHING they do, support them. Also, realize your child isn't perfect and that's part of the learning process. And if they do get a teacher that for some reason just seems to have it out for them? It's okay. They won't be scarred for life. In fact, it will help them deal with similar situations later in life....(aka...the boss from you know where!).

Just some confessions of a teacher.


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