Friday, April 24, 2009

Those Things that Make Teaching ( and Counseling ) Worthwhile

Especially at this time of the year, it becomes hard at times to remember why we got into the teaching profession. CRCT is a four letter word and textbooks are inventoried and collected so early that we might as well feel like we are Norton Daycare at certain times rather than Norton Elementary. However, I always try to work hard and especially this year as FOCUS teacher I am keeping it challenging right up until the end of the year. Still, I sometimes feel like my hard work is overlooked or not appreciated. Yesterday and today have brought experiences that make me feel differently and in a good way.

- Yesterday one of my fifth graders asked if he could stay after class and talk to me about something. I could tell that he was out of sorts and not being himself. When class was over, he shared that he felt things were going poorly at home. I asked him to give me specific examples. Then I asked him to think if he had done anything that could have upset his Mom. We talked through it and came up with the idea of him writing a letter to his Mom about his feelings and giving it to her at a calm moment. We also talked about how even if he didn't give the letter to his Mom that it would be an emotional release for him. At the end of all of this, he thanked me. He told me that I am the only person at the school that he knows he can talk to. Wow. It made my heart melt. It also made me feel like counseling may very well be my calling.

- Today the woman that teaches next door to me walked into my room and said " Your room is like grand central station" I looked at her puzzled and asked her what she meant. She said, " So many students have passed me while I had hall duty and they make a beeline for your room. When they come out, they are all so happy....even students who usually don't smile. The students really like you and it shows what great work you do with them"

- I just talked to one of my colleagues from fourth grade last year. We actually looped together. She told me that teaching gifted is my gift. That she truly appreciated that I went out on a limb and asked fourth and second grade teachers if they had students who should be considered for the program. When I told her that I was really excited that the program has gone from 44 students to 71 students this year, she said that it was because of me and wished that our principal would recognize it.

So some days it is a really hard job and we are expected to work miracles, but sometimes the " miracles" get noticed.

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