This year will mark the first time in my career that I will not be preparing a classroom for next September. I am moving to a support role, I will be assisting other classroom teachers. This is a good thing. I am ready to be outside the classroom. As I reflect I realize there are many things I wish I would have done better. Each year, within each group you can see the ones who will succeed, and those who are struggling. My job is to give them the skills they need to succeed, find out what what teaching style works best for them all the while taking into account their social and emotional needs.
This was the first year in a very long time that I cried in front of my class. A former student, not yet out of high school is having a baby. This is kind of student that I worried about since day one. I knew there were issues and I did everything within my power to help. But as my very intelligent principal told me, “You can’t save all of them Sherrie”. I shared the story of my student with my class this year, I am not sure what I was trying to gain by telling them, but I wanted to reach them on a different level. My emotions got the best of me, and the tears flowed as I thought about my chunky monkey and the start in life this little boy was going to have. I think of the challenges I have had including the sleepless nights, overwhelming feelings of guilt and the emotional highs and lows of having a newborn. I have prayed that somehow, something positive could come from the birth of this child, because every child is a gift.
My class this year, I adore on many levels they are smart, intelligent and unique. They challenge me at every turn, but we have an understanding and we respect each other. All of students this year have the ability to be a success in whatever field they chose, the fact of the matter is they have to make that decision, not me. Years from now my graduating class may come back to visit and tell me their victory and defeats. I look forward to hearing their stories and hope that I had some little influence in their successes. I think that is what all teacher really want to hear, “Thanks Mrs. G., you were a great teacher”.
I have not heard about my former student, since I heard she was pregnant. I consider no news to be good news. I know in my heart more tears will flow once the infant is here and my first response will be to run to the hospital and usher him away to my home. I know this is not reality, but my attempt at fixing the situation. This is not something I was taught at teacher college, but a life lesson I wish I had not learned.