Friday, June 29, 2012

♥ I am an Educator

I am a junior high math teacher. I LOVE to teach. I cannot imagine doing anything else. What would I do if i had to talk to adults all day? I love talking to 13 and 14 year olds all day! ;) Teaching is in my blood. I love the kids. I think of them as my kids. Leaving them to go on bed rest with my twins was hard. I knew I had to that for my boys, but it is still difficult to walk away from 100 kids that were depending on you. I did not even get a chance to tell them goodbye. Of course, I returned at the end of the year to visit them.

I form appropriate relationships with my students that I hope they will take with them to high school. I hope I am a teacher that they will remember as they grow older and make decisions for their life. I am their supporter, their teacher, their confidant, their disciplinarian, and so much more. I have students that tell me things that they don't tell anyone else. I want them to feel safe in my classroom. I want them to know they can tell me anything. I want them to value their own opinions. I want them to know they can become anything they want. More than anything, I want them to know I believe in them.

Are their things in education that make me crazy? ABSOLUTELY. Do they throw us curve balls yearly? Yes. The start of this past year was incredibly difficult for me. I started to wonder if I wanted to each anymore. I never thought I would feel this way. The year ended up going well, and I love my job again. 

I am going to be teaching the same thing next year, 8th grade Math and PAP Algebra. This will be my FOURTH year to teach those subjects! I cannot believe that! Where has the time gone? I could tell such a difference this past year as it was my 3rd time to teach this curriculum. I did not have nearly the amount of questions as I did in the past. I was able to figure out why the ERROR message would come up on my Algebra students TI-84 calculators without asking my department head. I felt incredibly confident. I will be taking the Gifted and Talented Supplemental test to add to my certifications in August. I am nervous! I have not taken a test in years!

It will be a year of adjustment next year. I have been very lucky to have the same team for 3 years. We had 2 members move to another department after my 1st year, but they are still involved in our classrooms because they are in the Special Education department. So, it was not too much of an adjustment. Next year, two MORE members are transferring to another department. We will have 2 new team members. WOW! They have already hired the male coach I will be teaching with, so I am preparing myself for my new team member. He will be brand new to the profession. I know it will go well, but I cannot help but be nervous. 

I am also going to be coaching the LPJ cheerleading squad again. I took a year off to be with my boys after work. I am excited and nervous. I do not want to be away from my boys more than I have to, but I know it will be a good thing. I have 14 girls on my squad. We had a camp this week to work on motions, stunts, tumbling, etc. The girls also voted for their head cheerleaders. Head cheerleader is based on squad vote, teacher recommendations, and principal input. Two girls were selected, and they are GREAT girls. One of them being my niece, Madison. I am very excited for her. I will be taking the girls to an overnight cheer camp at Texas A&M in August. This will be my first time to leave the boys overnight for longer than one night. I can only imagine the emotions I will be feeling. It is exciting to be working with my passion again. Cheerleading does not leave your blood :)

Recently, there have been some allegations against a fellow educator in my district. The allegations include him being inappropriate with a student. It truly hurts my heart to know this may have occurred. Parents are trusting us with their children. They are trusting us to always keep the best interest of their child a priority. Another issue is the way "young" teachers are viewed. I began teaching a month after turning 22. I have never had an issue with the lines being "blurred" with a student. I have had comments made about my age, and it blows my mind. I had a parent tell me he would stay in the hallway all day with me if I had taught him junior high. Really ?!?!

The following is just one of the incidents that makes me wonder why people have an issue with "young" teachers...

Myself, another "young" teacher, and a teacher in her later years were in a parent conference together. The parent stated that the student most definitely should respect the "older" teacher because she is like a grandma. She also stated she could see where the issue was with us "young" teachers because we are more like sister to him. She said this IN FRONT of her child. 

I nearly fell out of my chair. 

My year ended well with scores I was proud of, and a new classroom that is going to need lots of TLC ;)

For now, I am enjoying my summer with my two beautiful boys ♥

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