Let me just tell you... I got SPOILED. Breakfast and lunch provided several days this week, drinks, gum, enough candy to rot every tooth in my mouth, gift cards (woohoo!)... and some really sweet notes from parents and students. Funny how a simple card can mean more than anything else (but I like the gift cards, not gonna lie =). It means so much to hear from a parent or a student that you are making a difference in their lives. A couple of my favorite comments from students:
"Mrs. McNeese, I have really enjoyed being in your class for all these years." I guess the past seven months have dragged a little, eh? =)
"Mrs. McNeese, even though I have a B in your class, as a teacher you deserve an A+!" I thought that was adorable!
Teaching is incredibly hard work, but I can't think of a more rewarding ministry. Proving to kids that they can do things that they weren't aware they could do... watching things "click" for the first time... seeing a triumphant smile when they finally get the answer... there are 100 little moments like that every week for me and those are just the "short-term" results. There's no telling what my kids will take away from the classroom this year and carry with them for life. (Yikes... that's a scary thought!) If anything, this year has shown me that kids really do pick up things you do and say! I overheard one of my boys telling a second grader recently, "Is that really necessary?" I realized that one of my "catchphrases" was being passed along. Ha! (Don't worry... I really do keep my sarcasm to a bare minimum with my munchkins... but they are getting better at catching it! I'm proud of them! =)
Anyway, in the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week, I couldn't finish this post without thanking a few teachers who have really inspired/influenced me over the years. I catch myself constantly doing and saying things that I can attribute to specific teachers I've had. More often than not, it's my mom. (Help me!) Seriously though, I've had the privilege to learn from some of the best, and for the short time I've been "at it", my respect for them has increased exponentially.
I appreciate my mom for being the first teacher I ever had... and being the best. She is a truly brilliant educator. (I've met my nice quota for you this month now, Mom. =) Seriously though, she's the best there is!
I appreciate my Aunt Nancy for being my earliest school teacher and for being so consistent. I say things to my class that she said to us in third grade. ("Participate, participate, participate... everybody does!" Isn't it funny what you remember?)
I appreciate my Aunt Peggy for the countless questions she has answered this year, and for having an "open-door policy" for all my troubles. And for sharing her endless classroom resources. =)
I appreciate Miss Schweitzer for instilling in me love of English in 7th grade, and for making grammar exciting (to me anyway... I can't speak for the rest of the class!) I use the term "red blinkie light" all the time! =)
I appreciate Mr. Carey for being one of the most unbelievably smart people alive, and for showing me that faithfulness is worth it. Mr. Carey, you are a hero to me and so many other people! I haven't had the nerve to throw a marker at anyone yet... but someday!
I appreciate Marc Holloman for teaching me to "autograph my work with excellence"... and for accepting my hideously long essay answers in US History.
I appreciate Mr. Moots for teaching me that apathy is, indeed, an admirable quality and for speaking the truth in every circumstance.
I appreciate Dr. Paramore for so many things... but a few are teaching me that puns are an art form, that a quick wit is a gift to be shared, and that I am capable of writing creatively (which I was unaware of until Advanced Grammar and Composition... I'm still not great at it... but he helped me tremendously).
Where would any of us be without our teachers? These people make a lasting impression on their students... and I am one who has been blessed, encouraged, scolded (rarely =), challenged, and inspired by my teachers. Both the positive and negative experiences were necessary to make me the person and the teacher that I am. To quote one of my favorite songs,
"So much of me is made of what I learned of you; you'll be with me like a hand-print on my heart... because I knew you, I have been changed for good."
My teachers changed me for good. What about you?