I had every intent of starting my blog with this post and got side tracked. I tend to do that a lot. My ADD often has me skipping from one place to the next.
I started college bound and determined not be become a teacher. Who really wants to teach snotty sassy kids anyway? One by one the "more prestigious" jobs just failed to keep my interest (PR, International business, English). I began working at a day care with a friend of mine my sophomore year in college. They needed someone and I had nothing to do. And there began my love affair with the 4 to 5 year old child. At the time I was working on a degree in English but had established that high school and middle school was NOT for this girl. I worked in day care for nine years. I finished my bachelor in English Lit and went back for my Master's and Teacher certification in Early Childhood Education.
Because of a classroom full of boys. Ryan L, Ryan H, Drew, Ben, Thomas and Ian. These are the five boys that will forever have a place in my heart. These are the five boys that taught me to look at each kid as his own. Drew taught me that we all have that thing that really bugs us (his was the seam in his sock). Ben taught me that sometimes I have to look really close to see how the ideas that I discuss may really be played out in the items lined up meticulously around the room. Ryan and Ryan taught me that just because we have the same name does not mean that we are ANYTHING alike. So, don't link us. Study us to see how we are different. Thomas taught me that when we love someone, really love someone we will give up something special, even if it is our blanket (I still have this token of love). And then there is Ian.
Ian is the reason I am teaching today. He came to me as a four-year old. Bright blue eyes and a nasty scar across his forehead. Ian was one of the lucky kids that survived the Oklahoma City Bombing. He is my story. He asked me on a date once. I swooned. His mom would drive us to Del Rancho. I could sit up front if I wanted to. Oh, I loved this kid. He had a late July birthday. I am one of those teachers that believes in letting kids be kids. I suggested to his parents to give him another year before he went to school. He was a active boy and I knew from rumors what the K teacher in his district was like. He did not. He went to school and by the time he was in Transitional first he was not the same kid I had in Prek. I wanted to be the kind of teacher that let this kid be him without punishing him because he was young and active.
I hope that the 200+ families that have come through my classroom in the last 8 years see that in me.
I do not know where any of these kids are today. It was before facebook. I do know that they would all be in college. That group of boys hold a very special place in my heart.
And me now?
I teach at a Catholic School. I am not Catholic and I LOVE it!!!! I can not imagine being anywhere else. I will begin my 9th year in this school come August. In that time, I have had years where I felt like I have been a great teacher and years when I have felt like I just got through the year. I have come to the conclusion that we give the best to each class. We have to give ourselves the same grace we often give to our students when they mess up. Let's try again tomorrow. So, here is tomorrow may your year be a spectacular one.