I love teaching. I could probably count on one hand the times I have woken in the morning and not wanted to go to school, five of these times would have been as a result of repulsive adult behaviour, not that of the students.
I have found that children make the best colleagues in the world. They turn up each day with a clean, new slate. They don’t harbour resentment from the day before when you lost your temper, they sing to you when it is your birthday, and they are never shy of a hug when you are feeling down. They are honest. If you have worn the same shoes 3 days in a row, they will want to know why. If you haven’t washed your hair in a while, they will notice when you finally do and if you are a bitch- they will let you know. If you are absent- they miss you like crazy and in Term 4 when it is time for them to leave, they will remember the time spent with you years after you have forgotten them. It often scares me to think that in reality my students will spend more waking hours with me, than they will with their own parents. In a year they become my family, and above all they become ‘my children’.
Someday’s under the sea of paper work and red tape, you forget that what you are doing matters to someone. You may not have realised it, but as a teacher you make someone’s day ‘every’ day.
This past month Two students have reminded me that I am human. When I doubted my ability, they confirmed it for me. When I thought things were hopeless and that teaching was just getting too hard, they have reminded me it is all worth it. I just wanted to share their stories.
After only seven weeks into the school term, my teaching partner and I were confronted with a rather tricky case of bullying. This young lady was terrified of telling us in case she experienced any backlash but eventually she came forward and we helped her as best as we could. Today in the mad rush just after the school bell she handed me this beautiful letter. To be honest I am not sure what to be more excited about- the gorgeous message or the fact it had full stops, capitals AND paragraphs!!
To Mrs R
Thankyou for being a great teacher yesterday. You and Mr A did an awesome job.
I now feel very comfortable and know to come to one of you when a problem at school pops up out of nowhere.
Thankyou for asking me if I was ok yesterday. i know I can trust the year 6 teachers 100%. Thank you so much for everything. I look forward to spending the year with you guys.
Love Ellie xx
On a sadder note, last month I received the devastating news that one of my previous students from Adelaide had passed away suddenly at aged 18. On hearing the news, my heart just ached as it hasn’t quite done before. I didn’t have my own children when I taught her, but knew that after three years in my class that she had become like my own. After three years of sharing everyday with this gorgeous girl, it was incomprehensible that something had taken her away from a life that she hadn’t yet lived and was fighting so hard to keep. Her smile was contagious and not since have I met more gentle, loving and compassionate soul. As a Catholic, I have always believed that we go somewhere else after death and have always sought comfort from this belief, but I must admit that on hearing this news that my beliefs were challenged significantly. I can swallow the heaven stuff when it comes to the those who have lived a good life, but for the first time this explanation was just not good enough. it made no sense that a young life could be here one day talking to a good friend of mine (The fabulous Ms Ellem) in the shopping centre, remembering the fun time she she spent with us in year 6 and then be gone forever a short few days later. For days after I couldn’t get this young girl out of my thoughts. If I felt like this as her teacher, how the hell would you go on as her mother. Being interstate, I couldn’t attend her funeral and feel a great deal of guilt about this, but while searching my email for some old units of work I found these emails she had written to me in the years after I had moved away. Writing was never her strength but she certainly made up for this in personality. Just as she always could in life, she brought a smile to my face again in death. (love how she spelt report!)
Subject: Re: Jaymie report
Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 16:14:42 -0700
and this one……………………………..
Subject: Jaymie report
> Dear Mrs B,
> I got my report on the 24th of june and mum and dad were so proud of
> me and i hope you are to.
religion c with my effort being good
english c with my effort being good and writing satisfactory
maths c with my effort being good
society and environment b with effort being outstanding
science b with my effort being outstanding
design and technology c with my effort being satisfactory
health c with my effort being good
the arts c with my effort being satisfactory
music c with my effort being good
italian c with my effort being satisfactory
p.e c with my effort being satisfactory
I am so proud of my reprot
What am I thinking….I could never leave this job.