Friday, June 29, 2012

This is why I teach

I saw this post picture on Facebook the other day:

This picture made me laugh because it's so true! I knew this going to college and with performanced based pay initiatives sweeping our system it's even more true, but that is not why I write today. There are moments in a teacher's life where all the hard work, late nights, stressed out moments that make you want to pull your hair out cease to matter because you are reminded about why you teach in the first place. I had one of the those moments at the end of this last school year.

I am a high school teacher who pulls double duty between teaching social studies and reading. Teaching reading at the high school level comes with a little "stigmatism" because not everyone likes reading or they are put in the class to help with FCAT so there is a bit of resentment. Nonetheless, we persevere! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and I would try and move mountains for them if I thought that it would help them and it was what they needed.

So one of the last few days of the school year, I found this note on my desk and it absolutely stopped me dead in my tracks. I teared up and didn't know what to say. This beautiful note written anonymously, revitalized my spirit. I couldn't wait to show it off because I was so proud.
This student wrote about how they didn't really care much for reading as a class because they knew how to read, but what I showed them was that reading is not just knowing the words---that was a skill and there are certain things/ways of thinking that they would need in order to be successful at FCAT.
They also mentioned how they are looking forward to taking my psychology class as a senior! Awesomeness.

I hope that all teachers out there get something like this because it can keep you going. As teachers, we don't have it easy now-a-days in the face of budget cuts, standardized testing, MORE RIGOR (the list goes on and on).  In an effort to keep the spirit of this note alive, I plan on keeping it posted by my desk and in sight for as long as possible!

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