You know, I never had a plan to be a teacher. I do, however, remember thinking when I was younger how cool it would be to make all the rules and how I would feel like I had power if I had one of the coveted green grade books to call my own. But it wasn’t a real dream. I really liked the idea being a lawyer or an astronaut. But, I never worked towards those careers either.
Instead, I just went through school, playing sports, worrying about friends and boys and things that didn’t really matter. No one ever told me I could actually BE a lawyer or an astronaut. I guess I never felt like I could accomplish those careers. Too bad I didn’t know I could accomplish anything I wanted to with the right amount of work.
Instead of developing a goal and going for it, I just graduated high school and started college with no real end in sight. I had no idea what I wanted to be. I changed my major at least 5 times I think. I know I took classes for computer programming, rehabilitation services, accounting, and who knows what else. I just kept taking classes and realizing how much I didn’t actually like those fields. I finally realized all my electives kinda had something in common. I had taken, oceanography, biology, and astronomy for fun. It seemed to me I was a little into the Earth and the things on it. So I got a degree in Environmental Science. Aaaaaand it turned out being in a wheelchair made it a little tough to find a job. Soo, I went and took the Earth/Space teacher certification test in Florida. It was the easiest test I had taken in years! And that’s what started the teaching career.
I applied for a high school job of my dreams, Earth/Space Science, and Physical Science, but I was offered a 5th-grade language arts position. I actually told them no thank you. No one would want me to teach their child about commas or adjectives. I would be learning with the kids and I would absolutely hate my life. Luckily the current 5th grade science teacher at the time caught wind of me not wanting language and she told the Principal she’d teach language arts and I could have science. So that’s where it all began. In 5th grade, in Bristol Florida, 8 years ago.
I quickly found out that kids are A LOT. And kids are lazy. And kids make things harder than they actually are. Kids are also pretty cool little things and teaching them new things quickly became a new addiction. Still, my first year was the most stressful year I had ever had. I was clueless about teaching strategies and quite frankly, it was hard for me to be mean to those little munchkins. My class was a little hectic, but one thing was certain, we had fun! It was a blast getting to know all of them. They were all so different and have such big personalities that made them all unique. I think that’s really what made me understand we as people are all different and have our own little bit of weird, so be who are and don’t care what others think, cause chances are they are a weirdo too!
I must add in 8 years I have changed quite a bit. I have no problem being mean to kids now. And by being mean, I just mean I can tell them no now! I’ve learned quite a few teaching strategies and I’ve learned kids will work on passing a test a little bit harder if you promise them fudge brownies if they make an A. I’ve also learned how just important it is to get to know them on a personal level. They tend to work better for you if they realize you are too just a human trying to make it through the day!
Those of you that know me well know I’m a real nerd and I LOVE science and anything that goes with it. I nerd out quite often and love coming across a person that I can have in-depth conversations about ancient pyramids or space travel. I absolutely love it when I have students that get super interested in what we are learning. And I love it when I see the little light bulbs light up in them!
While I love teaching science there other huge life lessons I try to teach every kid that comes in my classroom. Acceptance is one. I’m different, and that’s noticeable right off the bat. So I start every year off with an introduction of who I am, what happened to me, what I’ve done since then, things I have experienced, and goals I have met. I’m certain that speech sparks a little hope and motivation in students every year. Does it spark something in all of them? No way, but does it touch one or two? Most definitely.
I make sure students don’t judge in my classroom. Who cares what color you are, who cares what you listen to, who cares if you still believe in Santa Claus or not!? When I’m in my classroom, I like jazz music just as much as I like country or rap. Comics are cool. And no one, no one is gonna tell me the tooth fairy isn’t real because when this pesky wisdom tooth comes out, she better be showing me a visit. And we all know, Disney movies are my jam.
The fact of the matter is, kids are growing up too fast and that’s sad to me, because oh what a great time that was in my life. It’s actually fun for me to kind feel like a kid again sometimes when I have conversations with them. I think that’s one person of us having children. They help keep us young! I mean, I know they make us age faster too, but hopefully, you know what I mean.
Teaching is not an easy job and anyone who has ever done it will stand up to that every day of the week. It’s tough. And you got to have the right personality to do it. And you definitely have to be able to let things go and give second chances because some kids these days need a new chance every time they walk through your door. But I great them all the exact same, with excitement. No matter how tired I am, how sad I am, or how bad I want to give up. I notice all my kids. And some of them notice me back.
I have totally enjoyed not waking up early every day, but boy do I miss those kiddos! And it’s official. We are on summer break. We missed those last final days where we got to bring snacks and watch movies or go outside where the kids played and the coworkers got to actually hang out and spend some time together. The end of the school year is always super crazy but it some of the best times too.
Our writing teacher always does a cool assignment where she has the students pick who they think should be the teacher of the year. She gathers the good one and shares them with us and it’s one of my favorite things. I had one student actually tell me he picked me, and he shared his with me. His and two other students are below.
The teacher I think should be the teacher of the year is Ms. Flowers. She always is an inspiration to me and others. She will stop what she is doing to help you. Ms. Flowers will let you talk to her with any of your life’s troubles, and she will never judge. When I needed to talk to someone about my day she was there to tell me not to give up, and I’ll never forget the time she told me that I needed to be kind to others no matter the circumstances. We were dissecting frogs in her class one time, and it was so fun! That classroom holds some of my best memories in 7th grade. When I always failed my stemscopes that she would assign, because I was rushing through them she got with my mom and told me that I needed to take my time, and after that I started passing them. When I would slack off she would help me get back on track. Ms. Flowers would always set a positive work environment, unless we would talk a lot she was very firm. My class would try to take advantage of her, because she was in a wheelchair, but that didn’t last long. I was always looking forward to going to her class, I was always cheerful in her class.
Ms. Flowers is more than a teacher; she is a role model, and an inspiration. She is there for me whenever I need her rather it is for an assignment or if it’s for a life lesson.
Why Ms. Flowers is my favorite teacher
Ms. Flowers is my favorite teacher because of her attitude towards teaching. When we enter the classroom she always greets us in an upbeat tone of voice. It makes me feel comfortable in her class and makes me speak out with the answer more often. I love how she makes me feel welcome in the classroom even when she is getting on to someone. When she gets on to use I know that it’s for our education and our future. She makes science more interesting with her little assignments she finds. It makes me feel excited to learn and come to her classroom. She makes me feel like she is more of a friend than a teacher. Thank you Ms. Flowers for being such a great teacher.
And one more.
The teacher I would want to be teacher of the year is Mrs. Flowers. Why? Because she is very calm,encouraging, and inspirational. She said this in the classroom ” I’m here if you need help don’t be scared to come ask questions I’m not going to bite”. It made me be able to go and ask her questions without being scared. I felt brave. I feel like she has earned the privilege to become this, she helps many students buts mostly me because at my old school I never got help I needed. So it made me more comfortable with talking to her and asking her questions. Every student is just comfortable with telling her things, even personal things because she is so encouraging and helpful. She just inspired me so much because she has been through a lot but she doesn’t let that get to her. She puts it all in the past and moves forward. And that makes me believe I can do it that as well.
Excuse the errors, I kept it true to their work!
Yall, when I read stuff like these tears literally fill my eyes every single time. As a teacher, there are TONS of days that you ask yourself if you’re really making a difference. You question if you are doing a job good enough to claim your whole paycheck because quite often you feel like you’re just talking to yourself. But there are some that are listening and it’s funny the things they remember. I do tell them all the time I don’t bite but I sure didn’t think anyone thought much about that other than I probably sounded stupid! I also often say, “I get paid to help you guys, that’s what I’m here for”. I’m happy at one kid knows I really don’t mind when they ask questions!
Little do these kids know, they teach me life lessons and are little role models to me too. My school kids truly give me a purpose on this planet and I pour my heart and soul into them. It’s good to know some of them are noticing.
And to those new 2020 graduates of Liberty County Highschool in Bristol Florida, congratulations! You guys finally made it! And thanks for not running me off my first year. I hope I taught them something because that class, I had for 3 years (5th, 6th and 8th grades) and they taught me almost everything I know about kids! Go conquer the world guys!