I'm feeling a little bit reflective tonight. Tomorrow is the big day. It is the day I've been waiting for since June! It is the first day of school for a brand new batch of first graders. I feel awed by the responsibility of teaching these precious children. My first teaching job was first grade and the principal let me know that she never hired first year teachers for the position of first grade because it was such a vital year. She hired me anyway! That year was special in so many ways and it was definitely a year of firsts for me.
I'm thinking further back than my first teaching job, though. I'm trying to remember my first grade experience. I think it was so awful that I've blocked a lot of it out. My family moved from Missouri to Michigan half way through September. My teacher at my new school was only there a few short weeks before she took the rest of the year off on a maternity leave. My substitute was unmemorable, but recess was a time for bullies to pick on "the new girl." I wasn't crazy about my new school and things didn't get better.
In second grade the teacher let me know I was too dumb to teach cursive writing to. In third grade I was ridiculed because I didn't know how to write in cursive. I don't know if I told my parents, because I didn't want them to think I was dumb. Early on, I labeled myself as "dumb". When I finally arrived in high school I had a teacher say, "You aren't like the others." She was referring to my older brother and sisters who excelled in all things academic. I learned to excel in all things social. To this day I love a party.
Why did I become a teacher? I NEVER want a child to go through what I went through in school. I want every child in my care to know how special, creative, talented and precious they are. God has used my past to shape my future. I love what I do. It isn't about the three months of vacation. It is about loving the children as Jesus did. So, I'm ready to say, ""Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14.
Will you take this pledge with me? Will you promise only good for the children in your care?