School is back in session and I’m loving it. Every Year I seem to get the best class. It’s weird. I must be living a charmed teacher life or something. I feel bad for the other 6th grade teachers…
I’m sure it has nothing to do with me and how I instantly fall in love with my students. They truly are at an amazing stage in their lives. It is weird because I fought moving from 5th grade to 6th grade for years. It took a truly amazing class and administrator to convince me I could in fact do the math in 6th grade. Now I see that this is really a golden spot. I’m lucky to be in 6th grade.
I don’t remember all my teachers, but I do remember my 6th grade teacher. At least, I remember one of them. You see, I was living in what I considered to be the best place in the world. Winslow, Arizona. I had been born there and lived only there up until 6th grade. It was all I knew, so when my parents told us we were moving away I thought the world was ending. Who moves their kid when they are in 6th grade? It was unthinkable.
I remember the day my 6th grade teacher showed up at my house to say goodbye to me. I remember thinking how weird it was to see a teacher outside of school and how much weirder it was that he knew where I lived. Weird or not, overshadowing both of those thoughts was the very big realization that this teacher cared about me. He liked me. He might even be sad I was leaving. He had gone way out of his way just for me and it was huge to me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.
I carried that little light of ‘something’ with me as we moved to hell. Okay, it wasn’t exactly THE hell, but it was a cheap imitation. A town smaller than my very small home town was now called ‘home’. I don’t remember my teacher there because I have tried hard to block out any and all memories from that place. It was horrid.
Thankfully, we only lived in hell for six months before moving to Purgatory. It was a step up because it had stores and restaurants, but it also had gangs that scraped their lowriders on the road dips and teachers that threw desks across the room at students. I found a sort of stride for the eighteen months we were there, but I wasn’t sad to continue on our trek to find a new home.
We ended up here. Where I am now. It was rough because, as I figured out later, I was weird. I didn’t fit into the boxes the other girls fit into. I had no sense of style and no courage to even try to gain one. I was clever in my head but terrified I would trip over my tongue so I kept it in my mouth.
I somehow managed to find a few good friends in high school and to even sing in front of a few people. There were a few teachers who made me feel comfortable enough in my own skin to stretch and learn new things about myself. I learned I could write, I could sing, and given enough time…I could do algebra.
When it all was said and done, and I was able to stand on the peak of childhood turning to adult, I could finally make out a few important things I learned.
There are people who really care. Watch for them and LET them.
Everyone is weird in their own special way.
It’s when things are most uncomfortable that you can really do some awesome growing.
Parents are learning how to do life, right alongside their children.
It’s important to be one of those people who care.
I choose to care for my students…cause I said so.
Photo credit: thefactsite.com