I love my students.
They become “my kids” the moment they cross the school threshold.
They are still my kids when they have interrupted me more times than you could count to ask me a question that I was about to talk about before they interrupted me.
I still love them then.
I love them, so I take the time to reteach the behaviors that are expected in my classroom so that everyone is able to learn. I don’t yell. I don’t show anger. I try very hard not to show any impatience. We try again, and my heart cheers when they are able to correctly repeat the directions back to me.
I wake up extra early to prepare materials for our activities and to straighten the classroom up so that my classroom is a safe place for my students. I clean up messes they forgot they made, were too busy focusing on learning to notice. I wash down desks, pencils, and markers with Clorox wipes. I put sticky notes on kids desks telling them about something they did well yesterday.
I love my students and I want them to be safe, to be healthy, and to know someone cares and believes in them.
I love my students when they “get it” and when they don’t. I have an idea notebook with a list of things that I will try next for the students to help them “get it” or strategies to help them focus.
I am encouraging when they confide in me and whisper “Miss _____, I really don’t know how to write,” in sad voices. I tell them that I know that they will get there, and I mean it. I begin writing a plan for intervention for that student as soon as the kids are out the door that day.
I love my students when they lie, and I successfully teach them about honesty and why it is important. I deliver consequences with love and empathy, and allow my students to take responsibility for their actions. If need be, I will give up my lunch period to repair a relationship with a student or discuss with them their behavior and develop a plan to fix it.
I am an expert in teaching reading, writing, math, social studies, and science.
I teach a curriculum that you won’t find on any state education website. I teach empathy, sympathy, thankfulness, perseverance, respect, and responsibility.
I teach kids that everybody farts, and no matter how much you dig — there’s no treasure in your nose.
I have taken night classes while working full time, doing after school tutoring for free, and running 3 different after school programs.
I take summer courses to perfect my teaching.
Someone comes in and watches every move I make for an hour or so at least once or twice a month (and this year smaller units of time but daily). I am unaware of any other profession where you are so closely and regularly evaluated.
I give great hugs when a kid had a rough night, and I can turn tears to a giggle in less than 10 seconds flat.
I love what I do. I am proud of what I do. I’m not trying to get you to pay me millions. All I want is for you to respect the huge responsibility that my job is. I set the foundation for 15 students’ lives. Every reaction I have could have huge impact (negative or positive), so I choose my actions and words carefully. My job is not easy, and just because you spent time in a classroom, doesn’t mean you know how to run one in a way that lets each student grow intellectually and emotionally. Please understand that I get to work much earlier than my contract says and don’t leave until much later than I am required to; I wouldn’t complain if it weren’t for the fact that you call me lazy and tell me that I have it easy. I spend time on work things every evening and usually some portion of each day over the weekend.
I love my students. I love my job. I don’t need you to send me thank you notes, give me a hug, or bring me a trophy. I would appreciate it if you would stop assuming you know what I do, and that my job title equates laziness and greed.
I love my students. I love my job. You’re draining energy and emotions that I need to spend on my kids instead.
And if you ever really want to know how I am doing? Just ask my students. They are very honest and see me all day long.