Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#TeachersChangingLives - It really does happen.

The other day I had two students show up to visit me, they had graduated the year before. 
Okay first, that crap makes you feel REALLY old, REALLY fast.  I really don't get how I taught them four years ago, and now they're in college. After all, I haven't aged a single day, I'm still 25. (No comments from the peanut gallery needed, mmmkay?!)
As we sat and chatted about where they were now and what they were up to one of them looked at me and said something I don't think I can ever forget.  He said "When I was in school some days I felt like you were the only one who believed I could be something someday, and you never let me give up. Thank you."  Insert tears from my eyes here.
Now to be honest, when I started teaching I always said I wanted to make a difference.  I wanted to inspire kids and let them know that I would always be there if they needed to talk. I have had kids come to me in their darkest moments and tell me things I never wanted to hear. I have given relationship advice, parent advice, and life advice. But to hear a kid actually say out loud that I mattered to them - that's a pretty big deal, folks.
The funniest part is that I really wish I could get kids to realize when they are freshmen what they learn when they get out into the real world.  You may never need to remember what type of rock pumice is (igneous, in case you had the urge to Google it), or what the Pythagorean theorem is used for, or even who wrote The Great Gatsby- but sitting in class "learning" all of those things really is preparing you for real life.
We're teaching you how to follow rules, even though you hate them. We're teaching you how to work with others (and pick up the slack for people who don't do their part). We're teaching you how to overcome obstacles and challenges and to figure out how you solve problems on your own.  We're teaching you how to juggle multiple tasks and set realistic goals on what needs to get done and when.  We're teaching you not to give up and to work hard and to be respectful. We're (at least trying to) teach you compassion and understanding- so that some day when you become an adult and have to care about someone other than yourself you'll know how.
None of these things really have anything to do with the content that I teach- but the truth is that sometimes I'm more concerned with the person you will become rather than the grade on your test.
That's how a lot of teachers feel, and that's why we do what we do.  No one gets into this profession to make lots of money, or for the recognition, or for the "great hours" that everyone seems to think we have.  You get into this profession to help kids and to make a difference- and that's no easy task. If you can get your students to learn, grow and give back- then you truly have hit the teaching jackpot.  This guy has certainly done just that.
All over the country teachers are doing these things and really making a difference. Spending money out of their own pockets to provide students with materials they need. Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness about teachers, and all that they do in the lives of their students. Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization that helps connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students, and you too can help by getting involved.
If you want to get involved here are two ways:
To Register your classroom as a teacher-
2. Click on the red box that says "Register Your Classroom," which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
3. Follow the corresponding steps from there
To Donate to a Teacher in Need-
1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website
2. Click on the teal "Donate to a Teacher" box on the Teachers Change Lives website, which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
3. Follow the corresponding steps from there.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sickies and the Prom!

Greetings, Lovelies!
Have you all had a chance to get to know the stomach bug that is floating around? He's a total jerk, and spent an unwelcome week at our house. On the upside, that was the easiest ten pounds I ever lost OVERNIGHT...too bad it will all come back with a vengeance once I can keep something down besides spit. (If you've had this gem, you totally get this comment.)
In other news I chaperoned prom the other evening with some of the best co-workers around.
Photo: Best Prom Dates a girl could ask for
We took this picture for two reasons. One because were amazing, the other to prove that we were all awake after 11 PM. I didn't feel nearly as bad though when the teenagers were laying down on the floor outside of the ballroom at 10:30.  If they cant hang, then I don't feel nearly as bad admitting I was asleep before we even got out of the parking lot. I am not meant to stay awake until midnight, I'm just not. Especially not when I wake up at 5 AM to go to work, that's just too long of a day. I barely had enough energy to do the running man with a student and dance in the corner while my husband hid embarrassed of me. 
All in all Im glad the kiddos had fun and were so well behaved, but I am really glad prom night only comes around once a year. I still haven't recovered from my late night out!
Please tell me Im not the only old lady out there?