A Teacher’s Heart

Today was the first day of school,in the district where I work and for my own 4 boys. It is the second first day of school where I have not been at my classroom door excitedly greeting students as they enter for the first time. Today started my second year as the Academic Support Specialist with the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program. And the thought of not being in a classroom today made me a little sad.

Don’t get me wrong! I really do like my current job! So, to my friends reading this, don’t panic and think “Oh, no! Teresa is miserable!” and to my boss (Graig), relax, I’m not going anywhere! But not being someplace and not doing something you love makes you stop and think about WHY you might miss it. To be honest, I don’t miss stressful Sunday evenings prepping for the week ahead. And I have yet to have a painful longing to peer at my dining room table to see 100 essays waiting for me.

But there are parts of the job, especially with that first day, that can’t ever be replicated in any other job. Here’s my list of things I missed today:

1. Hugs and exuberant smiles from past students scheduled into my class this year.

2. High fives and smiles from students proclaiming ” I was hoping I’d finally get to be in your class this year, Mrs.Bunner!”

3. Hesitant smiles and handshakes from students who haven’t quite decided if they are happy to be in my class.

4. Finding out who grew, got a new haircut, is now dating so-and-so, made the team, is going to try out for the play, read a book over summer they want to share.

5. The frenzy of the Book Pass as greedy hands grab for books just book talked minutes before.

6. The exclamation from the first student who says “Aw, man! I wanted to read that book.”

7. The first fervent plea “Please, Ms. B., tell me you have another copy of that book?!”

8. The nametags placed on desks that show who my minimalists are, who my artists are, who wants to see if they can pull one over on me the first day.

9. The ringing bell that precedes hollers of “See ya’ tomorrow, Mrs. B!”

10. The quiet whisper overheard on the way out “She’s not as tough as I heard she was.”

My professional career has brought me to a new path, one filled with exciting challenges and new possibilities. But I know that no matter how far I wander from the classroom, deep inside of me will always beat the heart of a teacher. To my friends who have celebrated that first day, today, tomorrow, in the weeks past, in the weeks to come, I am jealous of your first day. And I am in awe of your teacher’s hearts. Blessings and cheers for a new year filled with learning.

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12 thoughts on “A Teacher’s Heart

  1. And may we never ever take these things for granted. The privilege and reward of being a teacher takes form whenever a young person is nudged in the right direction by our words or actions. Thanks, my friend, for this important reminder expressed so beautifully here.

    • Aw, Gary. I had managed not to cry until now! Thank you, my friend! And thank you for being the kind of teacher every young person should have the privilege of knowing.

    • Thanks, Kim! There’s so much that is positive about spending time with kids. I never want to lose sight of that as we seem to have done as a nation.

  2. We had PD today, but there were students roaming the halls and shouts of “Hi, Mrs. Funk; I’m in your English/Comm/speech class.” Gotta be excited when the kids show such exuberance. I even had a colleague chat me up about her daughter (oldest child) being in my speech class and worries about missing class for school activities. This is what matters to teachers. The rest is “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

    • Those relationships are so key! It’s an immeasurable part of the job that is hard to convey to those outside the field.

  3. My first day will be a week from tomorrow, and I’ll be savouring all of the things you mention here for both of us. Each of your top 10 brought made me smile.

  4. I think of missing the first day when I think of leaving the classroom. It’s one of the aspects I’d miss most.

    Also, I think you just decided day 1 for me, Teresa: book pass, abbreviated lit. terms jeopardy, and maybe a get to know you introduction that uses name cards, too!.

  5. Working to support students and teachers outside of the classroom is bittersweet. I’m in my second week with ninth and eleventh graders and I loved seeing my students and me in ypur post. We have the best jobs! Happy first week to you,

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