Monday, April 28, 2014

Why I Became a Teacher

I am 35 years old. This is only my fourth year teaching.
 
I graduated high school with plans of becoming an accountant. My mother was (and still is) a tax accountant. Two of my brothers were accountants.
I liked numbers. I liked puzzles. I thought it would be the perfect career for me.
I got married. Three years later, we had our son. I decided to stay home with him. Seventeen months later, our daughter was born. I loved being a stay-at-home mom, but I knew I would be going back to work when they headed off to school.
I did not want another accounting job. I wanted my schedule to be a little more flexible, and I thought a school secretary position would be perfect (and would not require me to go back to school). As it turned out, the intermediate (grades 3-6) secretary position in my children’s district opened up the year our daughter went to kindergarten. It was perfect!
I wore many hats as a school secretary in a small district – secretary, nurse, lunchroom attendant, in school suspension monitor, etc. I enjoyed my job, but it certainly didn’t take long for me to realize that not all children were treasured and cared for as my own children were. You could say I was a bit naïve to the things facing many children.
I began making connections with those troubled kids…whether it was the ones causing problems because they had rough home lives or the child who came to school with throw up down her shirt (because she had thrown up in the yard as she was getting on the bus, her parents had to be somewhere, so they sent her to school anyway). Those kids started pulling at my heart strings.
A couple years into my job, I felt the Lord leading me to go back to school to get my teaching degree. I wanted to have a positive influence in these children’s lives. I wanted to be the person they could count on to be there every day waiting for them with a smile. I wanted them to feel safe, cared for, and even loved in my classroom.
After four years of teaching, I can tell you I still feel that same way. My students quickly become “my kids” and at the end of every year I have shed tears watching them (even the most challenging ones) walk out the door.
Are there times when I get frustrated with a student? Of course! Just as there are times I get frustrated with my own kids. It doesn’t change the fact that I love them and want the best for them.
My focus as a teacher hasn’t changed. It's all about the kids!
I do my best to make my students’ day fun and engaging. I also have high expectations for their behavior, academic success, and effort in class. I don’t ask anything of them that I wouldn’t ask my own children to do.
And I absolutely love my job!
This post was inspired by recent “attacks” or “jabs” against teachers, schools, standards, and testing that I have seen posted on the Internet. Rather than respond to these “attacks” and “jabs” (believe me, I’d like to), I think this post better reflects my heart about teaching. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone…


7 comments:

  1. Crystal,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Any student would be lucky to have you as a teacher!! I believe it is so important that teachers, like you, get positive messages out there. Hopefully stories, like yours, will hinder some of the "jabs" and "attacks" teachers have been brunt of. Again--thanks for sharing and keep on sending out those positive vibes!!

    Katie
    Mind Sparks

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  2. One more thing....you should turn this into a linky party!! I would love to read why other bloggers became a teacher!! :)

    Katie
    Mind Sparks

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    Replies
    1. Good idea, Katie. Maybe a back to school linky...we'll see!

      Crystal

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  3. I was going to ask - what state are you from, when I saw your kansas blogger sign haha. Me too, and I know what you mean! Thanks for the positive post about teaching.
    Sara

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    1. Hi Sara. Glad to have a fellow Kansas teacher stopping by! :-)

      Crystal

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  4. What a wonderful way to respond to the negative stuff you've seen. Nicely done.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! I can say that my first draft was not so positive...had to do some serious thinking and praying. :-)

      Crystal

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