Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 6-Your day....

These are the postings that I find to be recapping what I did or ate.  I'm sure that you don't find these interesting either!  When I think of "a" day that sticks out as memorable, I think of the things that we all do...the day we graduated from high school or college, the day we got married, the day that our children were born, etc.  As I'm sure that you all know those special days, either because I've posted about them or told you about them, let me take the time to tell you about my first day as an educator!  Get ready, hold on tight....this is going to be an adventure!!!

Let me give you the background first.  When I was in college, I worked at Bath and Body Works on a part time basis.  When I graduated from college, I opted to go into management with them.  I will never forget that as a manager, back then, I was making $27,500.  I was fresh out of college and thought that I was balling!  I worked there for about 8 years and then got recruited to a clothing retailer for one year.  Once I had my second son, I quit!  I wanted, needed and desired a quality of life.  I took about a $30,000 pay cut to be a teacher, but I've never looked back once!  Eventually you get to the point that having a quality of life and making a difference to someone other than yourself is worth more than the money.  I went into substitute teaching prior to securing a full time job as a science teacher.  Substitute teaching was interesting.  I got to choose the days that I worked along with the hours.  I could work half days if I wanted, close to my house, far from the house...whatever I wanted!  I subbed for about 3 weeks.  And then it happened.....I got hired to be a the middle of September.....of 2004!

I walked into my science lab to teach Environmental Science to 3 different classes of 32 students each.  Each class was 90 minutes long as the school was on block schedule.  I had one 90 minute planning period.  The first day of class, I walked in, and the students were...what I called at the time..."off the chain."  I couldn't blame them though.  They had had different subs in their class for about a month and a half and didn't believe that I was their real teacher.  They didn't trust me and here I came trying to teach them after they had been pretty much chilling for almost 2 months!  They didn't want to learn.  They didn't want to take notes.  They didn't want to do anything except raise their hands and ask, "Can I go to the bathroom?"  I had lunch duty, after school bus duty, a faculty meeting after school, etc.  I got all the way to 4th period and had a student, a male, that walked in about 30 minutes late singing an Usher song at the top of his lungs. "My oh, my oh, my oh, my boooooo."  If you know like I know it's a very catchy song which means the entire class joined in on singing his song.  Then end of the day was close and I just kept thinking..."I think I can."

I spent that afternoon calling all of my parents to introduce myself as their child's new teacher.  When I got home I was sooooo tired and exhausted.  My voice was almost gone from telling the kids to sit down, get back on task, etc.  It got easier and easier as the year progressed.  I have never regretted going into education.  I know that I have made a positive impact on hundreds of kids.  I have seen several of my students graduate and go on to become college graduates.  Some of them have gotten married and several of them have children.  They are productive members of society.  They still call me and find me on facebook to fill me in on how they are doing.  I have had students to tell me that they are majoring in the sciences just because of my class.  I have had to attend the funeral of one of my students.  I have written to one of them in jail.  I have attended the funerals of some of their mothers.  I have taken several of them out to dinner/lunch.  They have babysat my children.  We have gone ice skating together.....I could go on and on.

I have always been that educator that realizes that my smile and my hello to them may be the only one that they get that day.  I have taken the time to get to know my students and understand their lives.  This makes a huge difference because you learn what they are up against.  When they come to school to eat breakfast and lunch because they know that's the only meal that they will eat that day, who am I to fuss at them because they don't have a pen and a piece of paper to take notes in my class?  Instead of fussing at them, I began to purchase pens and paper to have available for them to use.  I learned to pick my battles.

I can't say that I was the best teacher in the world...but I know that I made a difference.  I can say that without a shadow of a doubt....

1 comment:

  1. For some reason I thought you went straight into teaching after MBC. I see we have yet another thing in common :)

    I took over a $20,000 pay cut to teach but it was a dream that I could not shake loose. I had to pursue it. I started the same way, through subbing and then being called to take a position 4 weeks into the school year.