After what happened in the last 24 hours it makes me question if I am prepared. Am I ready for my future? I am ready for the unexpected that is going to happen, all the good and the bad? All the pretty and the ugly? How do I prepare for the future? What can my mentors do to assist me? What can I learn from their past experiences that will make my future ones better. What can we all do to make tomorrow more exceptional than today, and more outstanding than yesterday?
Studying to become a teacher I have seen a lot of situations that I wasn’t prepared for. Before I was even in the program I was volunteering in a 4th grade art room, and I had a young student who was usually out going and happy very quiet during class. Some of her friends came up to me and told me she was acting different. So I went up to this student and asked her how her day was going. Right away I could tell something was different. Her eyes gave it away. After a little bit of small talk, I asked if she would go out in the hall and chat some more with me. She agreed, so we walked out to have some privacy in the hallway. It was almost the end of class by this time, and so we just talked about the upcoming weekend, and how the weather was changing so quickly. Once class was over we were actually able to talk. I found out that there were some troubles at home, and this wasn’t the first time. How do you prepare for this? When a young student comes to you with a problem, any problem…can you keep your cool, figure out the problem and then move towards finding a solution. Or do you freeze up, show too much emotion, get too attached….and become more of the problem?
Today the country wept. I never watch the news. It is always so sad and it makes my day worse. I like reading the newspaper, then I can control how much news I take in at once. But today for some reason when I was home sitting downstairs having my cereal and coffee I thought, “Hey, I’ll put on CNN and have it on as background noise when I am doing stuff around the house.” That was at 10:30am central time. Not long after the shooting occurred. I was hooked on the station. It started out as only a few people passed away, then it moved onto about 10, then almost 20, then closer to 30. It kept getting worse and worse, and yet I couldn’t look away. It took me back to 9/11. Why is when we see something bad, or hear about it, we ask so many more questions. We are intrigued We are curious. We want details. We reread all the stories. We continue to listen to the same report over and over again. Until we think we know exactly what happened. Until we believe we have figured out any reason why it happened. Then we begin to question our own lives.
Within a few hours everyone on Facebook had their status’ about the shooting. About loving their children, calling and saying I love you. Hugging them. Spending time with them. Praying for the families at the school. We think that even though we may have no connection to anyone out at the shooting, our short status update will make a difference. This isn’t really for them, this is to comfort us. To make ourselves feel better about our own lives. To tell ourselves that today we are going to do better, we are going to make a difference, we are going to love more, smile more, be happy. I hope this is true.
It leads to me writing this post. To wondering what will change in the future as I am a teacher. What will happen in my classroom with my students in the future, will there be any new laws that will protect my students? And myself? Will I be able to do anything to be more prepared? What can I do to make a difference in my future students’ lives?
I will lay down tonight in my bed, thinking about my life. Thinking about our country. Guns. Schools. My future classroom. What can I do to prepare? Maybe tomorrow I can start by doing some simple research to make my day more productive, and then take a deep breath. I will take each step, each day one at a time and realize that if I prepare myself for the impossible, then maybe I will be ready for the possible.
until again, with love
School has been overwhelming, successful, time consuming, difficult, eye opening, beneficial, and most importantly….life changing.
Friday was my last “official day” before Thanksgiving Break. The crazy part is that I have been looking forward for a break from school for so long, and then I was extremely busy with my classes that I thought I still had another week before break. That makes this break even better. During this next week I want to spend time with my family. I want to take my nieces and nephews out for one on one time with me. I want to watch the movie The Help with my mom and my sister. I have a brand new canvas sitting in my room mocking me…it has been doing this for about 2 months now…I am going to paint. I want to become “caught up” on all of my readings and other assignments. I want to sit in my house with a cup of tea with raspberry honey from Colorado and read a book. I want to go to a few hot yoga classes with my roommate. I want to sleep in. And then I want to get up early. I want to go through my closet and cleanse my stuff. I want to make big payments and get my financials in order even more than they are currently. I want to still go in to my 2nd grade class and teach on my “day off.”
It amazes me how quick this semester has gone by. Before classes started I was worried about getting up early and being prepped and ready to teach 4 mornings a week from 8am to 11am. And now I am complaining that I only have 3 weeks left in the class. I don’t want to say good bye to my students. I have become extremely comfortable with them. I listen to their stories, to their problems, to their goals, to anything they want to tell me. We read together, we write creative wonderful stories together, they see me…smile…and give me a hug. They are always sad when I leave on Wednesday’s because we won’t see each other until Friday. (I have a class on campus on Thursday) My cooperating teacher has become one of my friends. We text on the weekends and during the evenings. She has given me an awesome book to help me while writing lesson plans. She knows about my life. She is interested in my future. And she wants me to try and get a job in the school once I graduate. One of the students told me, “I think you should be our 3rd grade teacher here, so then we can see you again next year, and then we can be your first real students!” How adorable are 7 year olds? The days that I am tired or having a difficult time…I walk into the classroom and they are able to sense it. Those days they are sweet and caring, they ask me about my day, they want to sit right next to me and hold my hand when we are walking in the hall.
I know that my student loans are outrageous I realize this. I know that I could have applied for the education program when I was in my first 4 years of college, but would I have truly loved it then? Would I have worked as hard in my courses as I do now? Was I ready for that experience when I was only 20 years old? I don’t think I would have. I think I would have just passed my classes to be done with them. I don’t think I would have been comfortable up in front of 25 students teaching. I wouldn’t have felt like it was the right choice. But right now at this moment I know that it was.
Going back to school was the perfect push I needed to make my life better. Looking into the future is similar to dreaming for me, but instead of just imagining the “what it could be like” I am able to say, “I am going to have my own classroom. I am going to become an elementary teacher in this area. I am going to love my students. I am going to make this happen soon.”
I understand that it is going to be a lot of work. And at moments it will be very difficult, but after being in the classroom (even for just 3 hours 4 days a week) the good moments, no the wonderful moments out number those difficult times. I am ready for all those exciting moments ahead. I am ready to have an apple on my desk and my students at their desks.
Time to teach! 🙂