Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoyed the day surrounded by friends and family. We keep it pretty low key here, just hubby, me and the three girls. I'm fine with that for a variety of reasons I won't go into. :) We were happy and healthy and that's all that matters.
Earlier this week, The Husband moved himself out of our home office area. He moved his computer desk into the TV room (I suspect so he can watch TV and be on the computer at the same time.) At any rate, that means the entire office is now mine. Yay!
I spent some time today cleaning and organizing the extra space I have. Now all of my Thirty-One goodness is in my office and not scattered elsewhere because there was no room. I need to buy myself a small table for my small sewing machine and life will be golden (not that I really sew...but I could if I wanted to and that's what counts, right?).
While I was reorganizing my bookshelves, I came across a large envelope that said had the name of my Former School and the year 2006-2007 on it. That was my first year of teaching. Curiously, I opened it and found the memory book my kiddos had made me that year. I was a long-term sub so I knew I wasn't going to be back at my school the next year, and really didn't even have a job anymore once school was out that year. So we made memory books for all of the staff, down to the lunch ladies and custodian (because our school was small so all of the kids knew all of the teachers).
Those kids were rough -- by far the toughest first year I could imagine. But man did I learn a lot from them! I would never, in a million years, change that first year for anything. Because of what I taught them but mostly because of what they taught me. I started tearing up reading their little notes. They are all (hopefully) graduated from high school and in college by now...I think about them a lot. I guess that's normal when it's your first class. Here are a few of their notes:
This kiddo was a particular pickle for a long time. He had a rough home life and it took him a LOT of time to trust people. A few years ago, he actually found me on FaceBook and sent me a message. It said a lot that he wrote this -- it took me until about March to finally break through to him (I started with them the Monday after Thanksgiving). It was worth it.
Even though you aren't supposed to have favorites...we all do. This one was one of mine. I later had his sister and his brother. His writing isn't the best but it says "I will always remember you because of how you came into our class and still stuck it out even thou we wasn't the best kids". Cue.The.Tears.
Talk about tear-worthy...."I will remember you when you saved us from not learning". This is a chld who I literally had to claw crayons out of her hands (5th grader) the first month I was there because that is what their previous teacher had allowed them to do. Basically as long as the kids weren't being naughty, the previous teacher let them do whatever they wanted. So yeah....I guess I really did save them.
I save stuff like this for a reason....because it reminds me. Reminds me of where I started and how tough it was (and believe me, it was TOUGH -- I wanted to give up two weeks in until all of the teachers told me "no, no, honey you have no idea how good you are doing, they actually LISTEN to you") but it also reminds me of why I became a teacher and why I stay in the city. It isn't always easy to be a teacher where I am. It's much better the last few years since our superintendent changed but it's a tough job with tough kids. This reminds me why I wanted to become a teacher. The kids need me....but more importantly, I need them.