can one actually form coherent sentences while their eyelids insist on closing the curtain for the day. not without putting periods where question marks go. I must push through. because what happened today was one of those things that I will return to on bad days.. days when disappointments clobber me…
All teachers have this kind of stash. Letters, post-its, pictures. Remnants of glory. Stones of remembrance. It reminds me of the Old Testament story. The people of Israel were told by God to “lay up stones of remembrance” to declare God’s protection and favor. This was so that years later, as the Israelites journeyed past the stone, they could rejoice and remember their deliverance. And be reminded that deliverance would come again. So I keep a stash… and in the rough times, it reminds me that I’ve had some sweet days.. and sweet days will come again.
Today I broke up 2 fights. FIGHTS. I used to be able to promise that those things didn’t happen in “my class.” Oh i have been humbled. But. that’s not the story. In addition to all of that, I found myself in a 15 minute conversation -mid class-with a student over friend troubles. (Her best friend was taken from her home and is now in foster care. We don’t know where she is. We all miss her. Especially her best friend.) Imagine dealing with middle school drama WHILE your best friend has just been ripped from your life with no explanation. So I ignored the 31 other kids to talk to her. You can’t say no to hurting tears of your students. So we talked and cried and I sent her back to her seat.
Within seconds, I hear from across the room (so much for a “private” conversation): ” Ms. Reyes.. you just.. i just…you always make us cry!!! Like in our hearts! ” I felt a little invaded that they’d heard my conversation. But let’s be real. I also loved it. Then, the second eve’s dropper walked up to me and granted me with the most beautiful benediction of a comment. I GUSHED.. called it Poetry.. and begged her to write it exactly as she spoke it. And she did.. thus, giving me, my newest, most prized STONE of REMEMBRANCE.
Dear Ms. Reyes
I just realized that when you talk to us
You go deep in our hearts
and make us realize what we really feel inside
is not what we show on the outside
So we thank you with all our hearts.
Stephanie, Genesis, Jadu, Miranda, Daniela, and Yaritza
So today… the day I broke up a fight.. and heard the F word in my own classroom, I also received a sweet gift. A stone. I will look at it to rejoice. I will look at it to remember. I will look at it to hope. I love my job.
I also found this entry recently. It’s dated just several months before I began my own teaching career 7 years ago. Exactly 7 years ago. 🙂 I WAS aching to teach. I kinda love that nothing about that statement has changed. I love that I look at this and smile as I remember I AM A TEACHER.