Thursday, October 3, 2013

Because of you...

"Because of you"
are three little words
that can carry a lot of weight.

"Because of you,
I know what love is."

"Because of you, 
my dreams have come true."

"Because of you, 
I smile a lot."

"Because of you,
I am who I am."
I think I'm going to like this post!
Sometimes those
three little words
are followed by harsh truths.

"Because of you
and your drunk driving,
he's gone."

"Because of you,
I no longer trust people."

"Because of you,
I feel alone."

"Because of you,
I no longer want to live here."
I know right?!

In the world of education,
those three little words are

"Because of you, 
I know how to read."

"Because of you,
I can write a story."

"Because of you,
I know my math facts."

"Because of you,
I love school."

You're going to make me cry...
my eyes are starting to sting.
Maybe I'm overly tired from staying 
in my classroom until 10pm tonight.....
Nope, it's your post. 
I got a letter in my
mailbox a couple
weeks ago with those
three little words.

It was from a former student
who is now in her senior year of high school.
Her letter was full of
"remember this"
"remember that"
from when she was in my room.
Then right at the bottom
of the letter...
...there it was...

"Because of you, 
I want to be a teacher."

(insert lump in throat)

The serious side of me was
beyond humbled.
To be a good memory for 
a student is one thing.
To be one of the reasons they
want to be a teacher is
on a whole other level.

'Course the not-so-serious side of me,
wants to introduce her to Sallie Mae
and macaroni and cheese
since she'll be sending a lot of
money in both directions.
Teaching is so
financially lucrative.

But seriously folks.
Have any of you seen the movie,
Mr. Holland's Opus?

If you haven't,
rent it!
(and don't read the following)

If you have, 
think of that last scene.
Mr. Holland walks through the 
auditorium up to the stage.
As he does so, he's greeted by 
former students throughout his
long career of teaching.
Some he has now,
others he's had 'ages' ago.
With just a look, each person
conveys just how much Mr. Holland's life
impacted their own.
He doesn't view himself 
or his career in that light.
To say he was humbled,
is an understatement.
That's a GREAT scene!

...and I know this is a stretch...
I hope for every teacher out there
heaven is that way for just a little while.
I mean c'mon, we have eternity right?!
To see who we have positively
impacted would be a priceless gift.
Are you listening to that God?
Just a thought...

I'll be honest with you.
There are times when
I get caught up in the demands of the job.
There are curriculum maps to follow,
Common Core goals to meet,
lesson plans to write,
classrooms to arrange,
papers to copy,
assessments to grade,
grades to record,
report cards to complete,
parent calls to make,
school board meetings to attend,
websites to update,
conferences to schedule,
meetings to attend,
art projects to prep,
lunch money to count,
bulletin boards to hang,
recess duties to manage,
workshops to attend,
teachers to mentor,
trainings to follow...
...oh yah, 
and students to teach.
I think you just about covered it!
  All of this squeezed into
Monday through Friday, 
If you can do all of that
without working evenings and weekends,
email me your secret.
I will pay you for it! 
Sign me up!  
Do you take payment plans?

My point is that I am
admitting that when I feel
like I am drowning with 
this to-do list, 
I often forget that these
short people are making memories with me...
...good and bad.
Day in, day out.

Some people tease me because I 
call Ben and Abby, my short people.
(At 11, Ben is now 5'8 and eye level with me.
Abby's 8 but I'm sure it's just a matter of time
before I'm the shortest person in my house.)
(I'm 5' 1 1/2  inches...but I claim 5'2.  
One morning after being married for 5 YEARS, 
my husband gave me a hug, and with
a great look of surprise on his face...announced, 
"You are short!  I never realized how short you are!"
Love can hide all sorts of shortcomings!
I also refer to my job as working
with short people.

BTW-Before anybody wants to get a petition
started on behalf of 
"vertically challenged" people everywhere.  
I'm not discriminating.  Read on...
Karate Ballerina (my 18 year old) 
jokingly says that the only way people can tell 
she's Hispanic is by looking at her height. 
True....she's my blond haired/blue eyed baby.
When she went to New York this past 
summer for dance, she came home 
and said how she couldn't believe 
how big everything was, 
and that she felt so dinky everywhere she went.
(She's around 5'3 and weighs around 100 lbs. 
while easily eating more than both of her brothers).
 I thought she was talking about the buildings 
(I used to fly out of that area), but no....
even though the buildings were big, 
they weren't the only thing that made her feel dinky.
It was the people.  My daughter couldn't believe
the height of the people in New York.
With me as her mother, 
she never had a chance at 
super model genes, poor thing!
(She has the looks, but not the height!)
Of course, some men do like shorter ladies, 
so all is not her 6'2 boyfriend can attest to!
Not that she NEEDS a boyfriend or a man.
Don't worry, I raised my child reading The Paper Bag Princess. 

The reason that I refer to my children
and my students as short people is simple.
They are people.  
Just not yet tall enough 
to be eye to eye with us.
But they are heart to heart with us.

Their feelings get hurt when treated poorly.
They puff out with pride at a job well done.
They understand those good feelings
when the 'light comes on'.
They also feel insignificant when
they don't get it.
They know and appreciate
when you're in a good mood.
They know and cringe 
when you're in a bad mood.
They appreciate your time.
They get hurt when you seem not to notice them.
They can tell if you care.
They laugh.
They cry.

Ma Chérie always reminds me...

"They may not always remember 
what you teach them,
But they will always remember 
the way you made them feel."
Love that quote!

So when you get back
to your crew of short people,
remember this.

Because of you,
your class will have a ________ year.
  It's up to you what word you want
to insert here.

You are a good soul, Angela.
Keep us focused on what's most important!

Don't sweat the small stuff!
Thank you...
My heart needed that! 

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