My hubby and me
“The kindergarten children are confident in spirit, infinite in resources, and eager to learn. Everything is still possible.” Robert Fulghum
This quote is on my classroom web page. I love this quote because it is so true. My students never cease to amaze me. I adore how excited they become over little things. Things such as new erasers, stickers, freshly sharpened pencils, secrets, and even just hugs. I am blown away with their innocence. I love being around them. They remind me to laugh and keep going. They reopen my eyes to the beauty of life. Beauty found in a new classroom rug, a friend getting all of her stickers (individualized behavior plan), the ringing of a bell for A.R points, and the pretty flowers aka weeds that grow outside.
Why I teach: I teach not only because it is what I have been called to do. Not only because it is my passion and sends adrenaline through my veins. I teach for those children who other say will never have a fighting chance. I teach for those who have no self-worth, for those who think they are dumb, and for those who think no one cares. Last year I had an interim position from Jan to the last day of school in May. I received a new student in my class in March after having been a teacher for almost three months. This new student reminded me exactly of why I went to school to be a teacher. She reminded me why I woke up each morning to teach. She reminded me I was here for her.
My sweet new kindergarten student challenged me emotionally, mentally, and physically. I was told she had never been to school before which might not seem very weird when talking about a kindergarten student. However, this sweet little girl had missed out on so much in life. She for the first time was going to be going to school. But not at the age of 5 or 6. Instead at the age of 10 just a few weeks short of turning 11. “Well how could she have never been to school before?” one might ask. It was by the grace of God that she was found. She, along with her old brother and younger sister, had been locked in a bedroom during the day and only allowed out at night. She had never come into contact with anyone outside her house before. At the age of ten she stepped foot in my classroom and was given the opportunity she should have been given 5 years ago. She was given the opportunity to learn and flourish. She entered my classroom not knowing her name, letters, colors, numbers. She did not know how to drink our of a water fountain or walk in a straight line.She came in with her head down and tightly clinching her brothers hand. She came not making eye contact or revealing the beautiful smile that hid behind her scared face.
I remember driving home crying that day. Unable to process how anyone could do such a thing to their children. Unable to process that this situation was real and not something I was just reading out of a book or hearing on T.V. I remember feeling the pressure of the task before me wanting so badly to help her, but remembering I still have 13 other students to care for as well.
Yet in three short months, three challenging months, three exhausting months, she stepped out of my classroom for summer break. Yet, she stepped out knowing her beautiful name, knowing how to spell her name, recognize most letters, colors, and numbers, and how to count to 10. She could independently get water from the water fountain and walk in a straight line. She left giving me a huge hug and no longer calling me “teacherlady” but my own name. I will never forget how tightly she hugged me each morning once she became comfortable. I will never forget her obsession for fruit in the cafeteria. I will never forget the feeling I felt the first time I met her mother.
Although I no longer get to see her and be a part of her life, I get the honor of being a part of her little sisters. Her little sister is in my room this year and is by far the hardest worker in the class. I would adopt little J in a heart beat if I could. The story of her, her sister and brother will be one I will never forget. I already know at the end of the year this year I will shed some tears of joy followed by sorrow for the fear of not seeing my sweet little J next year.