Sunday, September 27, 2020

GOD BLESS THE CHILD & THE TEACHER

 


I was blessed to be a classroom TEACHER for 31 ½ years.  Well, maybe I should subtract two that weren’t so great, but even those years taught me a lot.  Outside of my family, TEACHING has always been my greatest passion.  That may not seem so surprising except for the fact that I never once thought of being a teacher until I had actually graduated from college.  I wrote a post about that HERE, so I won’t go into details.

 

Now that I am retired, I really do miss being in the classroom.  I love retirement (especially not having to hear that alarm clock every a.m.), but I miss the kids, my fellow teachers, and even making lesson plans!

 

Sadly, teachers are not always given the respect these days that we were once given.  Instead of parents supporting the teachers, many today are all too often ready to point their finger at them without seeking out all the details.  OK….didn’t mean to get off on that but many good teachers are leaving the classroom because of lack of respect and support (and some other reasons too).

 

I try to be a CHEERLEADER for teachers and administrators.  They aren’t all perfect…some, in fact, need to go!  But educators are faced with much more than many people realize.  I thought I would share with you just a few of my own personal teacher stories in hopes that it may bring awareness of what teachers deal with on a daily basis…much, much more than just academics.

 


NOTE:  Names will be changed for obvious reasons and the pictures are not of my actual students.  They are from my Pinterest board:  ALL GOD'S BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.


Story #1:  “Mary” was a pretty little blonde girl in my class.  Very quiet & shy…and very, very poor.  She rarely smiled and she dressed very shabbily.  I discovered one day just how bad things were at her home.  She nor her brother even had a toothbrush.  With the help of two friends who had young children, we were able to supply them with some hand-me-down (but nice) clothes and brand new toothbrushes and toothpaste.  That was the first time I ever saw Mary smile.   And I teared up.



 Story #2:  “Tom” was a strange little boy.  Not much to say although his older sister was very outgoing.  I soon noticed that every time I put my hand on Tom’s shoulder or patted him on the head, he would jerk away.  I learned not to touch him but would stand beside his desk with my hands behind my back.  It worried me what might have caused his fear, or at least what I felt was fear.  On the last day of school I always would call my kiddos up to me one-by-one and give them a big hug as they exited my room for the last time.  I deliberately called on Tom last.  When he came up to me I said, “Tom, I know you don’t want me to hug you, but could we shake hands?”  He looked at me a moment, shook his head NO, then grabbed me and gave me one of the biggest (and BEST) hugs I’ve ever had.  I cried!



Story #3:  “Tyrone” was a 9 yr. old (over age for 2nd grade) who came with a reputation…and not a good one.  He had been held back twice already and had given every teacher fits.  The only teacher he really did OK with was our Behavior Disorder teacher.  I was asked if I would be willing to take on Tyrone for the year.  I wanted to scream NO! NOT ME! but I couldn’t do it.  It took awhile for Tyrone and I to geehaw…sometimes he would get mad and dive under his table/desk; sometimes he would say some not-so-nice things to me; but eventually I fell in love with Tyrone.  He and I learned together what we could each handle and how to handle it.  But how could you not at least try and have patience with a child who lived with an elderly grandmother, a mentally handicapped uncle, and a couple other adults and whose mother was in jail?  She had locked Tyrone’s younger sister in a closet for a year and starved her to death.   I still have the Valentine Tyrone made for me from notebook paper…I found it on my desk.  It said, “I love you.”  I cried.


Story #4:  “Karen” was the smartest little thing!  She had so much brains and so much personality but no legs from the knees down and very few fingers.  A couple years before she caught a serious infection from swimming in a motel pool.  She lost her limbs but never her spirit.  Her handwriting was superb…much better than many with all 10 fingers!  And although she had prosthetic legs (wooden back then), she hated them and would in a skinny minute whip them off and scoot around the classroom on her limbs faster than any bunny rabbit ever thought about.  She always made me smile😊



Story #5:  “Linsey” was such a pretty little girl, very thin, very quiet, and very intelligent.  She lived in a trailer with her mother, her sister, and her extremely stern stepfather (ex-military man).  The home was evidently not clean because both girls came to school several times during the year with head lice.  Each time the father would blame it on other children (even though no one else in my class had lice that year).  This EVIL man would shave the girls’ heads, leaving only a thin layer on top.  One day he came to school and was extremely rude to me in front of my class.  He told me he was going to completely shave their heads.  I lost it!  I cried and cried and begged him to please, please not do that.  Thankfully, he didn’t.  Linsey wanted to grow up to be a model she told me one day…I doubt that happened.  In fact, I have seen her name in the arrest reports in our local paper more than once….and each time I cry.



Story #6:  My 2nd year of teaching I taught Remedial Reading to 2nd and 3rd graders; many were children of migrant workers.  “Ella” was a beautiful little Hispanic girl and her brother “Pedro” was so handsome…and they were both sweet as sugar.  Ella had no underwear.  When I told my husband he said, “Get in the car; we’re going to buy underwear” and we did.  Later that year with the help of some great friends we supplied this family with a new- to-them but used refrigerator when their's broke down, some clothes, and food.  Their parents were so appreciative and so humble.  I smiled and cried at the same time!




 

There are so many more stories…some sad, some happy, some funny.  No time for all the details but just to highlight:

*the mother who came to the front office to check out her child wearing her negligee (the mother, not the child!)

*my student whose first name had all 26 letters of the alphabet (I never learned to say it or spell it but she could).  Thankfully she had a nickname!

*”Abby” who was mentally handicapped but 100 times smarter than her mother; but oh how much they loved each other!



*”Shawn” whose mother blurted out in my parent conference for no apparent reason,  “I’m a Lesbian”…don’t even remember how I responded but let’s just say I was mostly at a loss for words

*the father who told me during our conference that his son was having problems because at home his wife was not giving him (the father) enough sex and he guessed it was affecting his son...absolutely no words for that one but I'm sure my face had a strange strangled look!

 

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

PLEASE...RESPECT & APPRECIATE TEACHERS.  I know they aren’t all deserving of it, but most are and most dearly love and care about each and every student in their class.  And if you ever have the opportunity to help a teacher in any way, please do.  They spend so much of their own time and own money on “their children.” 



 

I thank God often for the privilege and blessing of having been a TEACHER.









15 comments:

  1. Cheri, thank you for your service to so many children, You may never know how many lives you changed in a positive way, but God does, and he rewards accordingly.
    I indeed have so much respect for our teachers, and you are so right about how parents react now days!
    I think it is wonderful that you have now taken on the role of encourager and mentor to other teachers, it is is much needed!
    Enjoy your retirement, so deserved and well earned, also thank you for sharing these stories they are precious!
    Blessings,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sue, for such sweet comments. I loved teaching. Even after I retired I worked for 9 more years supervising student teachers. I will always be thankful for the students who taught me so much.

      Delete
  2. Thank you dear lady for giving of yourself to the children. I loved your stories. Made me smile and tear up. I have three daughters. One taught in the Public school system for 4-5 years and once she began her family they chose for her to stay home. She has successfully homeschooled my oldest two grand. One is 16 and one is 14 now. From day one matter of fact. She keeps her teaching credentials up. She has taught children at church and has been in the youth dept. for a number of years now. My youngest daughter taught in the Public school system for 10 years. She stays home now and teaches her 4 and 2 year old but also keeps up her teaching credentials. I have more stories than I care to think about that broke my heart. But I have heard some amazing stories as well. So thankful and grateful for those that have served our children and have served them well. Thank you! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so thankful for so many of my teachers!!
    Your stories of the kids had me crying too. You must have been a great teacher and we need more like you.
    Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you so much! I'm sure there were ways I could improve but I honestly did give my heart and soul (and lots of my money:) to teaching. Working with my kiddos blessed me in more ways than I could ever count.

      Delete
  4. Oh, my goodness, I'm going to share this post with my daughter and DIL. They have been teaching 17 and 18 years. They both have such stories as well and both love what they do and feel very called to their profession. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lea. Sharing it with them is certainly a compliment to me. And I am so happy to hear they love what they do. I hate it when I hear teachers being so negative. We all have bad days in any profession, but I always told my student teachers that when they could no longer find the JOY they needed to find something else to do. I miss my teaching each and every day.

      Delete
  5. Sometimes we never know how we have influenced somebody but I can see you were a wonderful teacher and touched the lives of those special children that needed you to be their teacher. I know teaching today is so difficult in many ways. Thanks for your time as a teacher and thanks to many who are teaching and influencing children today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment, Yaya! Teaching always meant a lot to me. I can honestly say though that my students taught me more about life than I taught them. I recently lost one of my former students (now 39) due to COVID (along with pre-existing problems). We were still close and it broke my heart.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great post Cheri.
    Yes, teaching is a work of heart.

    Enjoy this last day of September and have a happy October. This year is flying by so quickly :)

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, time seems to be flying by. I'd like to think we could happily wave goodbye to 2020 and usher in a beautiful new 2021, but I'm really afraid it will be more of the same..at least for awhile.

      Delete
  8. I had to laugh and wanted to cry at your post. This is my 28th year in education. The past 10 in administration. I have many similar stories but would not change my career choice. I will retire at the end of this school year and look forward to starting a new era.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharon, thanks so much for stopping by to chat...and CONGRATULATIONS! Retirement was a difficult decision for me but I knew it was time. I love it but sure do miss my classroom!

      Delete
  9. I first doubted It was not true but decided to try, when I contacted this herbal physician via his e-mail, I purchased herpes herbal medicine and received it within 7 days and used it as prescribed, I tested negative within 3 weeks use, do not loose hope to contact him early If you need help, you can contact him on email dr.chalaherbalhome@gmail.com or you can visit his website on http://drchalaherbalhome.godaddysites.com or https://mywa.link/dr.chalaherbalhome am convinced he can help you too

    ReplyDelete

Please stop and "chat" with me...I love hearing what you have to say!