Be The Change…

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 08 2012

Knowing I’m in the right place, at the right time

I’ll be the first to say that lately, I’ve been down in the dumps. I don’t know why but I hit a jut. It’s effected my teaching. I vow to fix my problem and increase the “joy factor” in my room – aka make myself happy with myself and my life. I think I re-found my joy tonight during parent-teacher conferences.

Here is the re-cap of my day:

1st period – went and took student S out of study hall (haven’t done so in a while). I was walking down the hall and said I was coming to get him and he got a huge smile on his face and asked if I was there for him. I said yes and took him to the library for tutoring. He said he thought I was mad at him last week and apologized for being lazy in class to upset me. I explained I wasn’t upset and what had been going on and he just said thanks for helping him so much. It was a small moment that made me feel good to know that my students care about me enough to care about my feelings and worry about me. I really do love my kids to pieces.

Then during conferences -
I had a mom come in and I told her her daughter was doing great, etc. and she said I was one of her daughters favorite classes (NEVER would have guessed because her daughter is just quiet and sweet). I said thanks and I appreciate her daughter. She then asked if I would be teaching Spanish II next year and I said I didn’t know, it hadn’t been decided. She just looked at me and smiled and said “the administration will be hearing from me about how great you are. you count on it.”

Then – another mom came in and I think if my former student-self was embodied in one student – it would be her daughter, A. So, I told her that her daughter was VERY bright and nice. She was talkative, but knew there was a time to stop. Her mom just smiled and looked at me and said “that’s because you’re an amazing teacher. I don’t know what you do – but it works. My daughter is learning Spanish, MUCH better than my oldest son did. So, thanks for all your hard work”.

Last parent: a mom to her son, L. I told her that her son was doing well and I still adore him. She said that was great, but she was concerned with his grade (he had a 89.3 or something). I told her this semester was harder so that grade was fantastic. She then looked me square in the eye and said: “No, it’s low. You are his favorite teacher. This is his favorite class. If he doesn’t have an A in here, he isn’t going to have an A other places. You care about him more than any teacher has.” I got a big smile on my face and said thank you and I’d do everything I could to help him. She then asked the question again: Are you teaching Spanish II next year? Again, I said I didn’t know yet and she just looked at me and said – if you need a letter, phone call, anything – let me know. I want you to continue in my son’s life, you’re changing him for the better.

It’s moments like these, and many more, that keep me going. I teach in place where my students, and their parents, talk about me all the time – in a good way about how much I care. My student’s parents are willing to go to bat for me to keep me as their teacher.

This is how I know I’ve landed right where I need to be right now, doing what I am meant to do.

2 Responses

  1. I’ve been in and out of a funk pretty much since Christmas break — I don’t know what my deal is. But hopefully the joy will return to teaching!!

  2. Miss B

    Heard that! I am sick of this funk! Dare I say that it is worse than OCTOBER.. I’m so happy that this has picked you up since our phone convo the other night. Miss you and can’t wait to see you at the next ProSat :)

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A small town person with big world dreams

Mississippi Delta
High School
Foreign Language

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