Teacher Talk Volume One

Hey, guys!

I’m sorry Truth Tuesday didn’t get written in time this week. Next week’ll just have to be a double dose 🙂

I am really excited to link up with Nicole over at Bloom today, though, because it’s the first round of Teacher Talk. Nicole and Jamie have paired a bunch of teachers (or future teachers, like me!) to encourage each other, and have come up with monthly topics to discuss.  Today’s topic? Why I teach.

It’s funny, because today was my first day of a two-week classroom management class, and we got asked the same question. All 19 people in my class went around the room and shared why we were entering into this profession and into this mission-field. People shared various reasons… they loved children, they would get summers with their own kids, they wanted to decorate classrooms, they wanted to be a positive influence on our future generations… all valid reasons and all components of my answer.

I stared at my yellow piece of paper for awhile. Teaching wasn’t something I grew up wanting to do. I wanted to be a vet. I wanted to be an Olympic horseback rider. I wanted to be an actress (okay, so that’s still a dream. Whatever.) It wasn’t until the Break Up of 2009 that God changed my plans. After the marriage was called off, I moved to Colorado. I wanted to get away and experience the unfamiliar – so I did. I was employed by a year-round camp where I took care of horses and – you guessed it – taught. I taught horseback riding lessons. I taught Colorado history to public schools that came out for retreats (I feel like an expert on Chief Ouray, the Utes, and trappers and settlers. Ask away if you’re interested.) I taught Bible studies. I worked with kids in huge groups. I worked with kids one-on-one. I did a little bit of everything.

And I loved it.

And I was good at it.

And I started to think and pray and ponder… this could be my calling. I was only planning to take a year off, and then return to Mississippi and finish my degree in English. But I was challenged so much by that year. I was terrified to admit that I wanted to teach after spending 20 years declaring my passion for anything but. But I did. I changed my major, and have spent the last four years pursuing something I didn’t plan on loving.

And what I’ve learned is that every child that I have encountered matters. The know it all? She matters. The kid that’s terrified to speak because they get hit at home if they so much as say a word? They matter. The overweight boy? He matters. The average student? She matters. The kid with 12 siblings that gets overlooked at home? He matters.

They all matter.

And I want to show them that they matter. I want to tell every child I come across that their thoughts and opinions are worth voicing. Their mind is filled with potential. Their souls were meant to soar. They all have goals, no matter how big or small, that they want to achieve. I believe that an education can help students realize that they matter. It can turn children into adventurers. It can unlock hidden potential. And if done in a loving, safe, protective environment, there is no reason a child can’t achieve.

I’m not saying I expect to see every student I come across make A’s. I’m not saying that I’m going to turn every single child that sits in a desk in my room into an artist, a scientist, a president, a writer… but I expect every person that is in my classroom to grow – including me.

My education has done a wonderful job at showing me that this is indeed the plan God has for me. With every placement I have gotten, I have fallen in love with kids and sharing love with them – my love of the subject matter and my love for working with them. I originally thought that lower-elementary would be my passion, but my heart has been really attached to upper-elementary reading. I was with fifth grade reading last semester, and this semester I will be with fourth grade.

I love teaching. I love children. I love learning, and I know that I will never stop learning on this journey, and that is so exciting. But above all – children matter. And some just need to know that.

(this is the only image I have of me teaching, thanks to my supervisor last semester. Not my best-looking day, but that was a really good lesson! I’m glad she got something to put in my portfolio 🙂 )