Saturday, February 11, 2012

Doing What I Love...Teaching

I'm sure that everyone can think back on a teacher they had that had a huge impact on their lives, either good or bad.  I can count on one hand the bad teachers I had but it would take all my fingers and toes plus more to count the good ones! :)  I come from a long line of teachers, all of whom made a difference in people's lives.  I have seen first hand the sacrifices that they make time, money and emotion wise for their students.  When it came time for me to decide on a career, I chose to also become a teacher.

I have known that I wanted to teach since I was very young.  I am a nurturing person by nature and I love to encourage people and help them succeed in life.  I have also discovered, as an adult, that I had/have dyslexia and dyscalculia which explains why I struggled with spelling and math.  I had to teach myself to track while reading but find when I am tired that I start reading things backwards and mixing things up.  Numbers are a huge challenge for me because I transpose them so I have to double and triple check everything.  I remember being punished as a child because people thought I was just being lazy.  To be fair, not much was really known at the time about dyslexia and dyscalculia.   I carried that hurt with me for years and knew that I wanted to teach children who also struggled with some of the same things.  I was able to work hard and become a Special Education teacher.

I got my first teaching job right out of college and loved being a teacher.  Encouraging my students to succeed and letting them know that they were smart ,but just had to work harder because they learned differently, was something that most of them had never heard before.  I wanted them to know that the only limiting factors in their lives were ones that they put on themselves.  They could set goals and meet them if they were willing to work hard.  Sometimes I felt like a cheerleader.  I could relate to their frustrations but I also rejoiced with them and celebrated their successes!  I watched my students go on to nursing schools, become Social Workers, and do really well in life.
 Our own children came along and we decided to homeschool them for part of their schooling years.  It gave us and them the freedom to pursue things in depth that they were interested in and work at their own pace.  I loved watching my kids get excited about something and putting their whole hearts into it.  My husband and I sacrificed for years to have me home with our boys but it was so worth it and paid off.  We have sons who are now adults and who know that they can do anything they set their minds to.  They are all hard workers and we are very proud of them.

Now that the boys are grown and flown, I have gone back to teaching in the public schools.  I'm a substitute teacher and am blessed to work in a district that has a very supportive staff and some exceptional teachers that sacrifice much for their students.   I enjoy getting to know the students and since this is a small school district, I do know almost all of them.  I pour my heart and love into these kids and encourage them.  One of my greatest joys is seeing them master something and watching their eyes light up,  a smile spread across their face and sense of pride come to them.  Hugs are freely given, high fives, and lots of "I am so proud of you" and "You did it" are the norm for me.  Yes, I love these kids and I want to see them go far in life and do whatever it is that they want to do.  I love teaching and will continue to do this as long as I keeps me young and enriches my life in so may ways.

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