What She Did....
- When your daughter broke her arm, along with one other person, she stayed with her after everyone went home. She consoled her and told her everything was going to be okay. She paused her tears and calmed her down, and she even made her laugh a little.
- She caught your daughter sending email messages online at school. Your daughter was emailing a grown man who she was about to meet at the local mall after school. She probably saved her life.
- She went home at night, graded 30 papers from 6 different subjects. After she raced through dinner, she then went online to find creative ideas to teach a boring lesson. Her workday began at 6:00 AM and ended at 11:00 PM many nights.
- When your son didn't show up to school, along with the counselor, she went to your home. She was the only teacher in the building who spoke Spanish. She arrived at your doorstep looking out for your son to make sure he was safe. She heard yelling, anxious words and loud fighting, as her hand reluctantly knocked on the door. She sighed a sound of relief when she saw your son's beautiful smile. She explained the school rules and walked away, so thankful he was okay.
- She came in early for weeks to tutor your daughter. Every morning, she brought in a little recorder from home with a new song ready to go. She knew that your daughter learned best with music. She gave her more than better grades, she gave her the confidence and the tools she needed to succeed.
- Her co-worker was a bully, a teacher who was angry and was taking her anger out on the kids. She advocated for that class for a full year, and it took every last inch out of her emotionally. She had to make a big decision that year that took her on a new path.
- For her ESL students, she made sure they each had the exact curriculum to meet their needs. In addition to her mainstream class, she had 8 kids with 6 different languages and 4 different levels of English. She modified every inch of their work. Every day, she walked down to the lunchroom to make sure they understood how to get lunch. At the end of the day, she walked outside to make sure they knew how to get home, on the right bus, or on the right path.
- Her principal evaluated her without coming into her classroom one time the entire year. She was told that she would have to 'bring the team together' next year. Her fourth year teaching, she was told to teach a veteran teacher how to behave with the kids. She held back tears and made big decisions.
- She was told she cared too much.
She never asked for one thing in return. Yes, this was her job and she knew it.
Her days were hard, trying, exhausting.
Those were some examples of my former days in the classroom.
It takes such a small amount of energy to say "thank you". Please thank your child's special teachers. There are so many teachers who care about your kids the way I did when I was teaching. The smallest token of appreciation, such as a smile or a kind word, goes such a long way. I promise you, he or she will never forget such a simple gesture. I never did.
50% of effective teachers leave the field within 5 years, if you have one now, cherish him or her. Odds are he/she will be gone before you have the chance to say "thank you".
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