But this got me thinking about my job and why I do it even though it's not an easy job and it's not the most high-paying job. I thought about the preschooler I held while she fell asleep today. I thought about how I stroked her hair and prayed that God could please, please spare her from the horrible environment she has to return to every day. I thought about how overjoyed I became when one of my little girls ran across the room when I got to school today just so she could give me a big hug. I thought about how much I love telling parents how well their child is doing and how they are meeting goals we both set for them. So I thought I would write down a few thoughts on what I appreciate about being a teacher.
-- Being able to give children affection they don't get at home. Most of my kids come from rough environments, and it's so, so important for those who can to show them love. I cherish every single hug and kiss I get and give to my kiddos. I don't always know what they go home to and what to make every second count with them.
-- Seeing children learn new things. I get giddy and proud when my kids say a new word, master a new concept, or when I see the "light" go on in their head when something finally makes sense. Seeing them discover their world makes me appreciate my world more.
-- Seeing the world through a different perspective. Being a teacher to children from low income families gives me a whole new take on what it is to struggle and try. I have to swallow my critical spirit and judgmental attitude and meet these families where they are.
-- Being loved for who I am by my kids. They are always excited to see me when they get to school in the morning. I can start each day newly with them and the best part is starting it is when a big hug.
-- Hearing a child say "I love you Betsy" (the equivalent of my name) for the first time.
-- Being forced to become more patient, gentle, kind, and compassionate each and every day.
-- Seeing parents excited about their child's development. Most of my parents are either uneducated or really trying to become educated. The low income culture doesn't always value education for education's sake. Seeing my families notice the difference between their child and an un-preschooled child is priceless. Seeing hope in the eyes of moms and dads is beautiful.
If you have teachers in your life, please show them you appreciate them. They work so hard to ensure that your child has a promising future and a more abundant present. They sacrifice because they believe in education and love your child. They don't need an apple mug. Just a simple "thank you" means so much.