16 May 2014

teacher appreciation

last week was teacher appreciation week. and honestly, i deserved some appreciation. i have really been working my butt off – basically 6am to 11pm every day. what i’m doing is pretty insane actually: thirty eight challenging adolescents with wildly different capabilities, teaching all 8th subjects with no grade-level team or provided curriculum to plan from, extended school days and two rounds of state testing, and all that with zero training to run off of. i think it’s been the most challenging thing i’ve ever done in my life (rivaled only by the mission).

the tidbits of sweetness during teacher appreciation week sure were a bit of balm to my worn down spirit. one student, knowing that i don’t eat treats (except on holidays), brought me this luscious bucket full of colorful fruit to enjoy while the other teachers had donuts – so thoughtful!

photo 2 (46) photo 1 (47)photo (47)

i also got some pretty fantastic notes from a few of my students. those kids can be so incredibly funny and clever and sweet, and i really love them.

the best part of the week, though, was our all-school assembly on friday afternoon. a few weeks ago, my class lost by just a hair in a relay race in which the teacher was the last runner. i was hoping for a win in the next school-wide competition to redeem myself.

the task this time was to come up with some kind of “group movement” – one minute of synchronized action – to help develop teamwork and communication skills. there was so much drama in my classroom all week trying to decide what movement to do, who should be the leader, who was going to participate, etc. the day of the competition came and i was feeling sure we were going to bomb it – but i canceled our english lesson for the day and told the kids this was their last chance to get something together that they could be proud of showing off to the whole school. and they stepped it up – students were chosen as leaders and the chaos quieted as the movement came together. i joined in the stomp/clap routine, and within 40 minutes we were somewhat ready to compete.

the first few performances of the sixth grade classes were not very impressive, so we were feeling good about our chances. but as the seventh graders began to show off, we got a little worried. we went second to last. under the hot sun in front of 350 other middle schoolers, i moved in sync with about twenty of my students. and the judges loved it! we got 9s and 10s – beating out any previous class. we all stood huddled together on the side of the rest of the school sitting on the ground and watched the last class perform. we nervously gathered closer as the judges wrote down their scores (you’d think this was the national championship of something!). and when we saw those 8s and 9s, we hollered and jumped and hugged.

it was pretty awesome. and i felt, in that moment, pretty dang appreciated and appreciative. 

20 comments :

  1. It seems your destiny is to teach, not to mother, but what is the difference really?

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  2. I don't see why charitys destiny can't include motherhood as well. Right now she can just practice on other people's kids.

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  3. That's true Lindsey, but it is going to be hard to find the love of life working those hours. Time's a tickin'!

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  4. Wow, you are a very hard working and dedicated, and amazing teacher! I'm so happy that you were able to feel some much deserved appreciation! I was a teacher too and I remember being one of the last teachers out of the school each night. It was hard but very rewarding work!

    You'll be an amazing wife and mum too! I'm so happy that we each have our own timetable for things. I didn't find the right guy until I was 28! He was worth waiting for believe me. Since then, we've had four beautiful children and I even had a baby at 39! I have LOVED having kids at an older age, and I really believe that Heavenly Father had this all planned out for me, and that it was the very best thing for me as well. Being an older mum has been an incredible blessing for me personally and my sweet hubby, and I believe in turn, for our children.... really it's been the BEST thing ever. There simply isn't a timetable that we all fit into with these things. I believe that you have Amazing things ahead as a wife and mum!

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  5. P.S. So sorry about the grammar in my post, I have a very bad habit of proofreading the things I write after I post them :)

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  6. I am in complete awe of how you've just jumped into this job and are making the absolute best of it, where "best" would be considered very awesome by anyone's yard stick. A few years ago, I attempted to teach algebra at the college level. It was a remedial class, but still these were "adults" who had purportedly paid to be there. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I basically ran screaming to a desk job after 2.5 years of it. I still get hives thinking about it. Your job is 10X harder. When I was reading one of your previous posts about how overwhelming teaching is, it was so similar to my experience, I almost couldn't read the whole thing. But, this post makes me think I just didn't have stones for it. I think it's wonderful that you do; how lucky are your students???!!!

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  7. P.S.-- Thanks for posting about your experiences! I love a good, old triumph-over-adversity story!!

    P.P.S.-- I meant to say I taught for 1.5 years, not 2.5 - no way I could have made it that long!

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  8. I find the comment about what's the difference between being a teacher & a Mum quite hurtful. There's a HUGE difference.

    Even tho teaching children is lovely it's not the same as having your own as you have to give them back afterwards & I often don't like doing that. I often find that people who have children don't understand how that feels.

    I know that Charity will find someone special & that she will be a great Mum to their children.

    Rima Family - thank you for that, you have given me hope:)

    By the way, altho some people don't agree with it, did you know that a lot of women now have babies in their 50's & 60's? I know all the comments about how old they'll be when their children are 10 etc but why should anyone be denied the blessing of having their own children just because they're older?

    Well done on your job, Charity, you're doing a brill job:)

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  9. charity,

    you are awesome and an inspiration to everyone and that's why i read your blog. i'm not a teacher but you make me want to work harder in what i do.

    there's always so much hoopla about getting married and having children in your comments. every time i read those comments (i.e. i'm looking at you anonymous), i think, but wait, she's so young! calm down people. :) i know it will happen for you and for everyone that wishes to be a mother.

    keep living your awesome life and being your awesome self and i'm just going to keep saying awesome in this post because i can't think of other adjectives right now. keep shining that light and enjoying the journey (i'm speaking in the non-spiritual sense but you know what i mean).

    from,
    your fan.

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  10. Thank you Julie, very best wishes to you!!

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  11. A child a 50 or 60, are you insane? How can that possibly be in "His" plan? Especially if you have to go through IVF to achieve it. Is "His" plan a moveable feast dependant upon what suits one at any particular time? People should be denied kids at that age because - it is not right - having children is not a "right", especially if you have to defeat and defy science and "Him" to achieve it.

    What is wrong with having a career and not pursuing motherhood? The patronising comments "I know [you] will find someone special ..." are infuriating. So what if she doesn't find a man and have kids; and she spends her time teaching? Think of all the kids (and her) that will benefit.

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  12. A child a 50 or 60, are you insane? How can that possibly be in "His" plan? Especially if you have to go through IVF to achieve it. Is "His" plan a moveable feast dependant upon what suits one at any particular time? People should be denied kids at that age because - it is not right - having children is not a "right", especially if you have to defeat and defy science and "Him" to achieve it.

    What is wrong with having a career and not pursuing motherhood? The patronising comments "I know [you] will find someone special ..." are infuriating. So what if she doesn't find a man and have kids; and she spends her time teaching? Think of all the kids (and her) that will benefit.

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  13. You seem to be doing a great job teaching and putting so much hard work into it! Any classroom would be happy to have you with your enthusiasm! You really deserved the appteciation!
    I wonder why readers would even compare motherhood and teaching and speculate why Charity would be destined to do one or the other thing? What does this have to do with anything in this context?

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  14. Charity,

    Your optimism and positive attitude are so inspiring! Congrats on all of your hard work. You are making a tremendous difference in these kids' lives and someday you will be a spectacular mother as well:-)

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  15. Maybe the love of life will find her

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  16. This is just so fun and insightful to read! I'm so happy that you' were able to throw yourself into such a great cause! Suddenly the unfairness of what was dropped on you like a huge concrete ball out of the sky seems like a huge blessing (some days). We just knew you could do it...with pizzazz! Thanks for all those hours! Even those kids who can't express it, feel your dedication and love for them!

    The comments are insightful too!

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  17. I am not insane about my comments on having children in your 50's & 60's, I just meant that not everyone, including myself, finds someone until later in life & I don't see why anyone should be denied the blessing of having their own children, whatever their age.

    The only reason I wrote the comment was because of the first one.

    When I wrote about I know that Charity will find someone I really meant it & I said it to encourage Charity. I didn't mean it in an unkind/patronising way at all.

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  18. Julie

    I myself do not want to sound condescending, but perhaps try googling "infertility", "age" and "menopause"', that may go some way to explaining why your statements about having a baby at 50 or 60 sound insane.

    As to "finding someone" - why does she need to find "someone"? Why is it not enough for a woman to be fulfilled by a career? A woman does not need a man to fulfil her.

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  19. Sounds like very well earned appreciation. A favorite quote: When difficult times "are endured well, all these things can be for our good and greatly enlarge the soul; by excavating the soul we are promised an enlarged capacity for joy." No doubt these long and hard days are preparing Charity for brighter days ahead, with an increased ability to enjoy whatever life brings her.

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