Sunday, February 1, 2009

There's more to education than 1-2-3

I'm a teacher. I get paid to teach. My children must pass their "tests" or I'm not doing my job. They must reach their benchmarks or I've failed. I must make sure they know their math facts or I've caused them to miss a major building block for future grades. Their education rests on my shoulders along with their future success.

But....I stop in the middle of a lesson so the class can make "get well" cards for someone's grandmother who is having surgery; I take my lunch time to sit with a small boy in my lap who needs to cry because his mom died 2 weeks ago, and later I "beg" my colleagues for any extra money so that I can get a headstone for the same little boy to put on his Mama's grave; I skip math facts drill so that Joe can show the class the pictures of his new little brother; I use 5 minutes of silent reading time so that Ali, the shyest child in the class, can recite a poem she wrote; I go to the store duirng planning time to get some new clothes for Autumn who never has nice things and who doesn't smell too fresh because she's still wearing winter clothes and it's 90 degrees; I find a dentist who will donate his time to put top teeth in for one of my parents because her little girl says she can't find a job while she's "toothless"; I try my best to help a single dad who has been living in his car with his 3 children, and I try not to be discouraged when they disappear again in the middle of the night; I tell the kicking, screaming, cussing, hissing, ball of child in my arms how much I love him as I carry him to the office for the 3rd time this week; I look parents in the eye and tell them what they need to hear instead of what they always want to hear; I skip Social Studies so that my whole class can sneak with me into the cafeteria to hide surprises for the "cafeteria ladies"and I spend a good deal of time teaching my students how to be good people. Is this in the standards? Nope. Am I an activist? You Bet!!

I'm a human. I don't get paid to be human, but it's the best part of my job!

5 comments:

Brown said...

i wish all teachers had this approach! i am 100% positive if they did then i woudl not see as many children on the streets here!

PaulCpt said...

a really beautiful post setting out an incredible calling. Thank you

klinto said...

The behaviour you are modelling for them is so much more important than maths. These kids are lucky to have a teacher like you, and their kids will be lucky that they had someone to show them how to care. The impact of your actions will go way beyond your classroom because each of these kids will take small bits of your loving kindness with them. Even though I have no idea who you are, I'm pleased you are a teacher.

Beth said...

Just for the record, I'm Brown's mom!

YouthOfSA said...

hopw tha you continue to teach. Giving young people real values is so important!


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