Fresh college graduate walks into her twelfth interview with a Birmingham area public school. She sits down across the table from a principal that messaged her the day before about his interest in interviewing her for the open exceptional education position at his school. Throughout the interview she explains her philosophies, her experiences, her dreams, and her goals. She gives details about her family, her college experience, her summer jobs, and her future plans. After about an hour and a half of going back and forth, he finally explains that he would like to hire the girl if she is willing to commit to several things. First, love the kids. He believes his kids are the absolute best, and he believes that they deserve the absolute best. His mantra is that the most important thing is to get to know the kids. Next, he asks her to commit to continuing to learn. He believes that all excellent teachers are still learning. He wants his teachers to attend professional developments, to read, to research, and to continue to grow.
I am the girl. One year out of college. I have just a few days left of my first year teaching. From June 2017 until now I have not stopped dreaming. I have not stopped learning. Though I have had some difficult situations and tough cases, I hope that my actions have shown that I have not stopped loving those kiddos. Everyday when they walk out of my room to get ready to go home I tell them how much I love them. Forget the assignments due. Forget the test they should study for. If they go home only remembering one thing from their school day, I hope it is that they have a crew of teachers who show up everyday for them that love them dearly, talk about them often, plan for them daily, and pray for them nightly. I hope that they know that no matter how many A’s or F’s are on their progress report, that they have cheerleaders in their stands. I hope that they go home knowing that no matter how big of a mistake they make while at school, our hearts are not hardened by that…yet they just break over and over. I hope that they know that no matter how dysfunctional their home life is, that they can count on their teachers to remain committed to their learning and growth. I hope that if not because of us, by some other reason, they know that their value is high and that their potential is out of this world.
I hope that they know that we all had the choice to go into whatever field of work that we wanted to, but we chose to invest in them.
The dreams don’t stop just because school is out. My worries for my kiddos success will not stop just because they are headed to the high school. My fears of them forgetting their potential will haunt me throughout their lives I am sure of that.
I hope that if you are starting your career as a classroom teacher or an educator, that you are able to see that your kids story is the most important thing to know. I hope you realize that your dreams don’t stop now. I hope that you remember that you chose this profession for a reason.
I hope that together we are able to make this profession more professional with our generation. I hope that we can grab hold of the millennial stigma and represent our generation positively and courageously. I hope that we can join together to make sure that love is what the kids go home remembering. I hope that we are able to prepare them for the jobs that they will pursue, for the families that they will have, and the generation that they will raise. I hope that we can feed their dreams, touch into their creativity, expose their strengths, and extend their possibilities. I hope that you and I together are able to make this whole “teacher” thing something people respect, honor, and admire.
An Almost (HOW IN THE WORLD??) Second Year Teacher
P.S. It is an extremely tough job, but it is just as rewarding.
P.S.S You are gonna rock. I just know it!
Picture from fanpop.com