Sunday, January 22, 2012

There are days when my job is just hard. Days when nothing seems to go right and I feel like none of the students will ever understand the concept I have tried a dozen ways to teach them. Days when their ears don't seem to work but their mouths are moving at the speed of light. Days when I have to reach deep down to pull out the last shred of patience I have within me. Days when I just want it to be 3:01 already so that I can close my classroom door and call it a day.

And then, there are days like this past Friday. Days when students do things like this:
Days when a grade 1 student who had only written 2 or 3 sentences before suddenly comes out with an entire page of writing that makes sense! It has a beginning, middle and end!!!! And it is good!!!! I am so happy that I could do cartwheels across the classroom floor! I read his story to the class, to his old kindergarten teacher, to the school secretary. I run outside at home time to tell his grandma what an awesome job he has done. The lesson on narrative writing clicked with him. Yes!
Days when a grade 2 student who often sits with her head in her hands telling me she can't think of anything to write suddenly writes a piece that has lots of juicy, descriptive words to go with the wonderful pastel drawing of her snowman at night taking pictures. Words like sparkling, crisp and glittering jump off her page and grab me. All my talk about using juicy words did sink in! And here I thought I was talking to myself. WOW!

Days when one of the grade 1 students who speaks English as a second language writes three whole sentences that I can read! With only minimal support from me in sounding out the words. How awesome is that?!
Days when a student from last year invites me to eat lunch in his new classroom and then proceeds to go down memory lane telling me about all the things we did last year that he enjoyed. He remembers things that I have forgotten I did and makes me want to do them again with my new class. Telling me how much he loved being in my classroom. My heart just melts....
Days when a student comes up to me and, out of the blue, says "Ms.Hughes, I just feel like I need to hug you" and then gives me a great big squeeze. Sigh...
This is what teaching is all about.

Seeing the light bulb go off and being able to experience the joy in a student's eyes when they do something that they have never done before.

Having a student remember what you did with them and be grateful for it.

Receiving the love of my students and being able to love them back (even when they are making choices that are not so lovable!).

These kinds of days make up for all of the times when it is just plain difficult to get through the day. These kinds of days remind me of why I became a teacher and how grateful I am that after 19 years of teaching I still love my job 99.9% of the time.

Ms. Hughes

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