Saturday, November 29, 2014


Well, technically almost 4 months. 4 months of being a third grade teacher. 4 months of saying the same things over and over and over again:

"Is that helpful or hurtful?" 
"Our rule is raise your hand before speaking" 
"No I will not repeat the directions, I've already said them three times and you chose not to listen"
"Line up"
"Be at a level 0 in the hallway"

We have a ridiculously chatty class, to say the least. 44 little darlings who will not stop talking. 

4 months, of meetings, parent conferences, observations, and planning sessions. 4 months of freaking non stop TRAININGS (professional development). 

4 months of being in a profession that constantly makes me rethink everything. Gives me more confidence to be assertive (that's the polite way of putting it) ;). And within the same moment destroy my confidence when I see their test scores. 

It's hard. So hard. Especially when it doesn't seem like you're making a difference and your work doesn't matter. 

But then...there are those moments...those breakthrough moments that make it all worth it. 

Have you ever read the story "You Are Special" by Max Lucado? I don't remember what I was teaching, it was at the beginning of the year, and I read it to my kiddos. It's about a little guy named Punchinello, a Wemmick, who isn't very talented. The talented, pretty, good Wemmicks give each other stars and those who well...aren't those things... get dots. Punchinello didn't have any stars, only dots. He meets a Wemmick with no dots or stars and he asked her why. She told him she visits Eli everyday and he helps her not care what other people think. She suggests he also goes to meet with Eli, the master carpenter, which he does. He's scared of course, but when he enters Eli's workshop, Eli know his name. "You know my name?" Punchinello asks. "Of course I do, I made you!". Eli goes on to tell Punchinello that it doesn't matter what the other Wemmicks think. Eli thinks he's special. Eli thinks he's special not because of his abilities but because of the simple fact that Eli made him - and Eli doesn't make mistakes. 

I tell you what...when I read that story, there wasn't a single student whose eyes weren't glued to me. They were so quiet you could hear a pin drop. 

Last week, the week before Thanksgiving, I showed them this video:

Just watch it. While it was still playing, one of the girls burst out "But I'm not a hero!" and it broke my heart. But it was worth it to be the first person to tell her she was something special. Again, silence in the entire classroom. Which is really weird.

And then there's Alexander*. My baby that has literally no consistency in his life. Who has literally been pulled from my classroom more than once by all three principles, screaming and crying. Who, if he's not paying attention, no one is. Who has gotten 30's on all his tests. Who got an 80 on the last test he took, and when I called him to my desk and showed him his grade, his eyes filled with tears. Who still has outbursts but is learning to control them. Who is learning that both his teachers would literally do anything they could to help him be successful. Who is completely different kid than the one who walked into class that first day of school. 

*name has been changed

I'm not saying any of this to brag. I'm saying it because it's almost Monday and I don't want to go back to work. I've realized I am a HUGE fan of naps. Sometimes I need to remember why I do what I do, why I chose the career path I did. 

All I know is, I don't know how any one can do this without Jesus. Your feet hurt, you're always needing to do something, and you're constantly tired. Even after napping for almost an entire week, I could use a nap. And I have papers to grade. Even so, it's worth it. 

Go hug a teacher, or a mom. Because I almost guarantee you moms always feel the same way I just described.