Friday, October 14, 2011

"so, how's it going?"

"We must see that every child has equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become different--to realize the unique potential he or she possesses." (john fischer)

i came across a book the other day as i was cleaning out a closet. (i'll be throwing in some quotes throughout this post that i love from it).
i got it when i graduated from UNI with my teaching degree.
at the time it was just a cute little book to add to my collection.
i don't think i even opened it.
i assume if i had started teaching right out of college, it would have sat on my shelf and collected dust.
instead, it got packed away in one of my tubs labeled "TEACHING STUFF".
there was a time when i thought i just might not ever open those tubs.
i thought my teaching career would never happen.
but here we are, 10 years later, and i was wrong.
thank goodness!
i pulled this little book out last night and started reading.
let me tell you...those words of wisdom and quotes mean so much more now than they would have 10 years ago.
after a rough week and days of feeling like a failure, they hit home.

"Whenever a pupil has spoken disrespectfully to a teacher and the teacher can say with truth, 'Do I not always speak politely to you?' the case is won without any more argument." (fanny jackson coppin)

"In discipline, whatever generates hate must be avoided. Whatever creates self-esteem is to be fostered." (Haim Ginott)

"Good discipline is a series of little victories in which a teacher, through small decencies , reaches a child's heart." (Haim Ginott)

you want the truth here?
this is HARD.
it is really hard.
i love deeply. i feel deeply. i am emotional. i am relational.
i am not in this for the paycheck.
i cry when i read "Where the Red Fern Grows".
i choke back sobs when a student who struggles terribly in math gets a 100% on a quiz and quickly offers to help another student who is struggling.
i start chanting "they are getting it! they are getting it!" over and over when i am checking papers at home and they are all scoring well.
i have dreams about them.
i worry about them over the weekend.

but honestly, about every sunday night i still am not ready for monday morning to come.
it's just a tension.
mommy guilt.
loving 23 kids deeply.
wanting to be able to volunteer in my own kids' schools.
wanting to play a role in the future of 23 others.
it's hard.

"The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck." (gosh i love ralph waldo emerson)

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved." (and helen keller was an unbelievable soul!)

so in all's going well.
a friend told me the other day that her sister asked how i was liking it.
she said, "i think she loves it. but it's not easy."
she knows.
i tell her. :)
and that's the truth.
i knew it wouldn't be easy. i knew there would be good and bad days.
but i didn't realize how deep i would feel those successes and failures.
both mine and my students.
it's like becoming a parent for the first time.
people tell you that you have no idea how much you will love your child.
and you know it's true, but they are
and then it happens.
and your eyes are opened to a whole new world.
that is teaching for me.
it runs deep. and strong.
i love it.
but's hard.

and i made it through another week.
hello friday.

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." (more helen keller)

"We teach who we are." (John Gardener) ...and this my friends, could be scary. not easy. i feel such a deep responsibility right in this spot. deep.

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