Wednesday, February 26, 2014

She's Just a Teacher...

I am in my tenth year of teaching and nearly 40 years old.  I teach.  It was my first choice for my future for as long as I could remember, but not the path I originally followed.  If I knew you when I was 18, I had no clue what I wanted to do << I wanted to teach>>.  If you met me as a college freshman, I was switching my major from Psych to Sociology, still lost <<I wanted to teach>>.  Later, you would find I had switched to nursing, then quickly on to Speech Pathology to finish the stretch <<I still wanted to teach>>.   No one would have heard the conversations I'd had with my grandmother's sisters who were teachers so long ago that they had punished my grandmother for speaking French in their own classrooms.  When they heard I wanted to teach, I'd see a look of pride followed by a quick look of concern.  I eventually would earn my teaching certificate.

I never understood the concern until now.  I am a teacher.  It is the LEAST that I do in a day's work. I teach reading, language, and spelling.  It is known that I can teach my kids to read better, spell better, and write better.  Sometimes it feels like I am the only one trying to achieve this goal.  I (teachers everywhere) do so much more.

You may not realize that I am with your child 8 hours of the day, five days per week, 180 days of the year.  I think about them before bed and as soon as I wake up.  I worry about their struggles constantly.

In a day's work...I teach reading, language, and spelling.  I pass out band aids and ice packs daily.  I sneak your kid ibuprofen or acetaminophen when they can't get in touch with you.  I'm not supposed to.  It's against the law, but when your child is crying in pain, I can't bear it anymore than you could.  I guide them to the bathroom with bloody noses, when they may puke, when their tummy hurts, when they have a yucky rash, when their best friend just said something really mean in front of everyone, when they have anxiety attacks.  I hug them when they won 1st place over the weekend, on their birthday, when they give me a drawing, when they didn't make the team, when their grandpa died during the night, when their mom moved out of daddy's house. I buy a book sack if you can't, and I find a jacket that is the uniform standard on the sale rack.  I protect them when there is an intruder on campus, a thunderstorm,  when a tornado is nearby and we are stuck in the dark beneath our desks...and. they. are. scared.  We pray together. I pray for them when they travel for competitions and tournaments, when they are nervous about a test.  I kneel in church beside them and ask God to make me a better model for them and to help me to guide them to greatness.  When they look like they may faint, I support their limp bodies until they are safe on softer ground.  I hover near their desks and point to test items that need their attention, careful not to draw attention to what is happening.  ((Can anyone see?  Will they notice that I need help?  I don't know how to do this?))  I ask others to ask your child to play with them since he seems to have few friends.  I make them take at least 3 bites at lunchtime when they would rather just stare at the food.  I correct them.  I make them responsible.  I expect more. I expect their best.  I discipline....because I am a role model, just as you are.  I am not their parent, even if they do slip and call me "Mom" everyday.  I am their teacher.  I love my job.   I love my kids.

The ART of teaching is not taught in schools.  Teachers learn so LITTLE in school.  Today, teachers are leaving this profession in staggering numbers because of decisions our lawmakers are making, {{non-teachers}}.  Teachers are unappreciated, underpaid, doubted, questioned, held solely accountable, and pushed around.  There are so many days I find myself wishing I'd done more.  Like this isn't enough?  Do something about it.  Stand up for our educators.  They are true heroes.  Support them.

Thank a teacher.  He or she deserves it every single day. 



  1. I have students slip and call me "DAD" at times. I smile and take it as an honor. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Such a huge responsibility! You're doing a phenomenal job and your kids are lucky to have you!!!