“Every child deserves a champion … an adult who will never give up with them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson
When I said the class could work in groups a smile stretched across his face. He looked as if I had just told him we were taking a trip to Universal. He grabbed his backpack and darted over to two other boys.
I sat on the couch with two pups at my feet. They needed to go on a long walk after waiting all day for me to return from teaching. There were dishes in the sink, laundry, emails to answer, words to write for this blog and for my new novel. I felt like I had just run a marathon and could sleep until morning. I’ve always said there’s no tired like teaching tired. But my pups wanted two things, to be with me and to walk. I laughed to myself thinking they were my priority–one of the vocabulary words I had explained to the 6th graders. One side effect from teaching is that even after leaving the classroom the students voices and lessons from the day swirl in my mind until I drift off to sleep.
I’ve been asked by several people, “why do you do it?” Why do I take on challenges instead of living my life with a perpetual routine? Right now, I’m training for a marathon, teaching, and editing my novel.
While perusing Facebook, I clicked on an Upworthy video people were sharing. It basically had kids telling teachers to understand how to meet their needs. One child needed to walk around the room, another learned better by rocking in his chair, they each were spouting off as if teachers had no idea that children learn in unique ways. Anger bubbled up inside me. I couldn’t fully understand why, so I went outside to work in my yard and contemplate the video and my emotional response to it. After all, I’m not a teacher anymore, and I’ve always been an advocate for multiple intelligences and reaching students through their learning styles. There was a time when I had one of my fourth-grade students walk around the room while she read because it helped her focus.