I am so proud of my little ones. Despite the pandemic, they came together and pulled through. And thank you to all the parents. I know this wasn’t an easy year, but I am so thankful for all of you! Your children are the reason I wake up and go to work every day. Here is something I posted on the Classroom wall, but I wanted to share it again. I wrote this some time ago, and I think it will shed some light on who I am as an educator and a human being.
What My Teacher is Thinking…
-A personal note from a teacher
To my students, here is what runs through my mind. I wake up each morning and jump out of bed just so that I can get an early start to my day. I pour my coffee, get myself dressed, and I drive to the one place I know I make a difference. I may not always have a smile on my face, but I always have a smile in my heart. And just opposite that smile is your magnificent faces, the faces of my students.
“I need to get these kids ready for next week’s test!!!” I thought. Sometimes they just don’t absorb what I’m saying. I know it shows on my face at times, but do they understand how much I want them to succeed? Do they even know how much I care about the grades they earn?? Earn, that is the keyword. I want them to truly earn good grades! When I get upset with you guys, just know it’s because I give a darn about you and your well-being, inside and outside of my classroom. Just know that when you do something completely immature or silly that sometimes I want to laugh because I find you to be quite amusing, but showing you a stern look that says, KNOCK IT OFF, is the teacher side of me coming out. You make me laugh in more ways than I allow you to know.
When I have to write you up, send you to the principal’s office, or even have a meeting with your folks, please understand that my heart is breaking. You should also know that there are MANY days I sit alone at my desk and cry because it feels like I just can’t seem to reach anyone of you. I also cry because when I stop to think of just how proud you make me, it moves me to tears, literally. When I am entering grades into my book and come across some negative scores please understand that I do not use these grades as a paintbrush to depict a picture of you. I know the kind of students you are, and I know that just like me, you are not perfect and have your bad days, too. I never tell myself to give up on anyone of you. I remind myself that all of my students learn in their special ways. I keep little mental notes about every one of you. Things like, what makes you laugh, what subjects you love and those you struggle with, who you work well with, and those you don’t (know that I purposefully pair you up with those you don’t get along with to teach you a lesson on diplomacy and gentility).
On the days when all seems to be in the garbage can and the day just won’t end, know that I am happy we are all in this boat together, learning, teaching, and caring about one another. Even though I don’t always show it, know that I always care about you, even after you’ve left my class. Once you are my student, you are always my student. When years have passed and you come back to visit me, you will have to accept a hug and witness the smile mixed with tears of happiness, pride, and joy that will light up my face the very moment I turn around and notice you standing at my classroom door. I might even need to think hard about who you are for a millisecond because I, too am getting older.
So you see my wonderful students, don’t always take my facial expression for “Face Value.” Remember, your behavior might sometimes render a scowl from my face to your direction, but always keep this in mind and the heart..
“You are my proudest achievement as an educator, and if I had just one wish, it would be to have the ability to witness every moment of joy, success, and happiness in your life!”
To all of my students, thank you for allowing me the blessing of watching you grow up right in front of my very eyes. You make me proud even when you think you just make me upset with your sometimes silly and downright crazy behavior. You are my students, now and forever.
Now, pick up that pencil, sit up straight, and get back to work!