Saturday, May 11, 2013

No Other Place...

The week of standardized testing strikes fear in the hearts of students and teachers across this nation.  Teachers wonder if they have taught in a way that will cause students to remember the important information, if there was something that was accidentally missed when he/she was out sick and a sub was left to fill in for the day, if students will get a good night's sleep and will be ready for the LONG week of testing.  Students are fearful they will forget, they will make a mistake, and that they will let their teacher down.  Pressure sums it up nicely.  I tried my best to reassure my students this week that this was ONE day out of the 180 they are with me through the year, and it is ONLY ONE method to show me what they know.  I hope I was successful.  This week was LONG and it was HARD and we are all thankful that it was over.

But, even with this sort of pressure, I wouldn't trade what I do for anything.

This week was Teacher Appreciation Week and it is quickly followed by Mother's Day.  I find it fitting that these two things are celebrated together.

As a teacher, I have the opportunity to witness some pretty amazing things over the 13 years of my career.  

There is nothing quite like meeting students at the door each morning and ensuring that the day starts fresh.  I've stood in the doorway for 13 years and have seen all sorts of arrivals.  Some mornings I get great hugs and high fives, while others are filled with tears because the morning just isn't working out right or a bad haircut was received and a student doesn't want to go inside.

I've served as a counselor through friendship battles, crushes, and disappointments.  Tears have been shed by students as they try to figure out the next steps to mend relationships with parents.  

I've been a nurse helping with cuts, scrapes, bruises, and broken arms/legs.

I've adjusted lessons because my students weren't getting it and I needed to slow down until lightbulbs went off.

I've stayed after hours to make sure my students understand by hosting tutoring groups, book clubs, and game days.

I've had the opportunity to see students win ballgames, perform at talent shows, or walk the runway.

The end of each year brings an overwhelming sense of emotions for me.  Many bittersweet feelings of saying goodbye to a group who I've given my heart and soul to for 180 days.

I'm coming upon that time soon and the goodbye won't be getting any easier.  I always have difficulty passing my students onto the next grade.  

This year, I've had a revolving door of students, but my 24 core kids have become my own.  I've had a few ask me if I have kids or if I'll have some, and my response is "I have 24, why would I want more."
My students truly are my kids for the time that I have them.  Once they become a part of my room, they become a part of my heart and that is not an easy place to leave.


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