Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rollercoaster (oooh, oooh, oooh)

Yesterday was a terrible day. We're talking cry silently and complain loudly. We're talking actually feeling betrayed. Losing respect for people bad. BAD DAY. I wanted to leave. To walk out of this place and never come back. I took myself on a date last night to make me feel better. Dinner and a movie. If you haven't seen "UP", go see it now. Go ahead. I'll wait.

(elevator music)

Awesome good, right? Anyway, yesterday=terrible. Today, however, is why this job is manic depressive. Crying out of anger, sadness, and frustration one day, crying out of happiness and awe the next. I will not share the terrible story, as this blog is my "blooming memory" and I frankly would like to forget yesterday. But, because I know I will need to remember this good day during future bad days, I will share. Some may even call it bragging. But I want to chronicle it oh so badly.

I have many students I adore. Many who I abhor. Oh, look, the rhyming just comes naturally sometimes :-). But sometimes students who are so special you just don't know what to do with yourself come along:

1. Student A immediately grabbed my attention at the beginning of the semester with his obscenities and readiness to share his story. He transferred to my school from New Jersey. His parents sent him to live here in this town with his grandparents. He had been involved in drugs and was starting a new life. (Please ignore the complete craziness of the next sentence.) I actually felt like I was supposed to meet this kid. Like, called by God, kind of supposed to. He was at the same church as me on Ash Wednesday. 35 miles away from his grandparents, a church I've never attended before. He was there. He stood out even more to me then, as I was completely enamored with our chance meeting (which neither of us ever mentioned in school or again, for that matter). I realized how smart he was, but how he holds back. Anyway, I could go on and on with stories about him from the semester, but I won't. Here is the note he gave me today on his last day of class:

This was by far my favorite class and probably the reason I stopped hating people (I came to MN directly from a correctional facility). The students in this class were the first people I talked to and befriended. A good amount of this is because of your activities, which really helped “break the ice.” Mrs. H., you were one of my favorite teachers and I’m really happy to have met you and taken this. It accounts for a good portion of my new life. Have a good summer and good luck with everything.

Doesn't that just melt your heart? I pray for his success here in MN, as I hope he realizes his awesome potential.

2. Student B is someone I've probably written about before. I have two amazing speech captains this year. They've been with me for all four years of my coaching here, and they are fabulous, both of them. I knew they felt the same way about me, but the thank-you card one of them gave me today was really beyond my thinking. (She's super smart and a writer, by the way, so this really is what she wrote word-for-word, as unbelievable as it may seem.)

I just wanted to let you know how much I love you. As my coach, mentor, and friend, you were always there to support me and hear me out. All of the confidence and independence I can show the world today I owe to you. I hope that you know how thankful I am for your dedication and passion. My love of speaking manifested from your love of your students and your fiery, joyful character. Every quirky and epic moment these past four years is dear to me and because of your energy and compassion. I will never forget what you’ve done for me, no matter how far away I go. You’ve made me who I am, and for that I am eternally grateful. THANK YOU! Love, [student]

It just doesn't get better than that. Next time I say anything negative about my job, remind me of these (and the others) whose lives I actually did influence.

3 comments:

Molly said...

And you deserve all these good things, Em. You are one of the best teachers, if not THE BEST, I have ever encountered. For reals.

Travas and Heather said...

Thank you for answering God's calling to be a teacher!! Love you.

Angie said...

So what is the teacher doing in her off time??? (asked by your non-facebook friend)