Friday, November 20, 2015

Forever Grateful for my Students

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it took my fourth graders to remind me what is truly most important about my job as an educator.  Our students count on us each day to make a difference in their lives, but I have come to realize they make a huge impact and difference in my life each day.

In this day and age, it is easy to forget why I went into the education profession. With the demands of all the testing, data collection, curriculum/grading expectations, paperwork, and meetings it is easy to get bogged down and have doubts why I'm still teaching. Yes, our job is endless and many days it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Two weeks ago, I was humbled and honored by what one of my students did for our classroom and "Our Team".  As educators we work hard and tirelessly to try to meet each of our student's individual needs.  Ethan is one of my fourth graders,  and he is diagnosed with ADHD. Believe me in my thirty years in the profession, I am not one to label students, but Ethan's mom and I are working closely together so he has the best year ever!  

On Monday, Ethan came bouncing in and was extremely excited about the meeting I was having with his mother after school.  We were meeting to discuss his plan we have in place to see if there were changes that needed to be made.  It was another long Monday with an unplanned meeting during my lunchtime, and my day with NO breaks. The day never seemed to end.  Yes, Ethan came bouncing in with a big smile on his face after school with his mom and grandma. What happened next gave me a huge reality check and brought tears to my eyes.

Ethan handed me a wrapped package, as he beamed with pride, and couldn't contain himself.  He was bouncing and jumping around.  He helped open the gift and inside was a Yoga Ball. At our recent Parent/Student/Teacher Conference we talked about Yoga Balls, and the fact that Ethan could bring one to school.  I was excited for Ethan, but his mom wanted me to watch a video that Ethan created. What happened next is truly remarkable.


Ethan's Surprise

What a powerful reminder.  Ethan didn't want to be the only one with a Yoga Ball for a chair. He wanted to make a difference for all his classmates and friends!  Our students are capable of far more than we can ever imagine. How easy it is to truly forget why we have the "Best Job in the World"! Thanks so much to Ethan and his mom for letting me share his story!


What am I Grateful For?

The smiles when my students walk in each morning.  The laughs and giggles.  When a student finally understands a concept for the first time. To the "Aha, now I get it!" "Wow, the day went by so fast." "I don't want to stop now, can't I just finish?" " I know you're going to love what I just did!"  Watching our students collaborate and work with any student in the classroom, not just their close friends. To the, "Have a great weekend, I can't wait till Monday!"  Parents who email to say their child is home sick and they are sad to be missing school. Coming in first thing in the morning and a student says, "This is going to be an awesome day!" Students actually sad it is Friday. A simple "please" or "thank you". When a student says, "Don't stop reading, Mrs. Evon!" When students leave school at the end of day with a smile, hug, or high-five. Wow, I could go on and on.

Today, as I sat back and watched my students review for their benchmark math test, yes it is worth 70% of their grade, I am truly blessed. The teamwork, problem solving, and collaboration they display did not go unnoticed. 

Each student touches our life in his/her own special way. So to my current fourth grade team and all my former students who I have been blessed to teach, Thank You! Thanks for making a difference in my life! You are the reason I love going to school each day!


Ethan was featured on WOWT.com for Being a Hero Next Door
Ethan the Hero Next Door