I became a teacher because I had some teachers that I didn’t think liked me, and I thought I could save my students from that experience by loving every single one of them. Over my 23 years teaching that has remained a priority, and some days I feel like I’m making a positive difference, while on others I am afraid I am unwittingly causing harm. I like the phrase ‘know better, do better’ because it reminds me to just keep trying, but it doesn’t always make me feel better. Wanting to make a positive difference to others is a huge goal that I won’t always achieve, and it takes a certain strength to keep going. I have a student with autism and delayed speech, and a lot of what he needs from me is the space to find his own way, be his own leader, and somehow connect with others at the same time. Yesterday he told me he made a drawing for me that he forgot and would bring to the next class. It was me on a bike, him on a bike, and another friend on a bike. I talked with his Mom about it later and she said that he’s made a bike gang and I’m in it. I think I’m helping him to know he’s not alone, and he is doing the same for me. I think it’s ironic that in my attempt to make a difference to my students I come back to thinking of myself (am I enough? Am I doing this right?). I practice returning to the present moment whether I’m with the kids, reporting, assessing, or planning for the kids to overcome this. The mountain will not get climbed if I am only questioning the climbing of the mountain.
On May 23, 2023Barbara wrote :
Bless you and all that you do! You are making a different, please know that.