P3 – Pain, Passion, and Purpose

I wrote this post in November of 2015 in another education blog.  I decided to close that blog and only use this one.  I wanted to keep this, so I transferred it.

On the first day of school (my second year teaching), I told the students that the picture on the wall of the lion roaring at the butterflies was symbolic to our classroom.   I stated, ” There will be times when I roar like a lion, but only to get you to transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly.” I could tell that some of the students really had to process what I was saying. Others got it right away!  This is when I realized how passionate I had become about being in the classroom and teaching.

My students mean so much to me. At the end of my first year (May, 2015), I cried during the 8th grade promotion ceremony. I couldn’t help it. The song they walked to was that sad song played at the end of the most recent Fast and Furious movie where they pay homage to Paul Walker (the actor who died in the car crash). I love the Fast and Furious franchise because my son and I watched every movie as he grew up from 5 to 18 years old. Those movies created even more of a bond between my son and I.

“…How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?  Everything I went through you were standing there by my side, and now you gonna be with me for the last ride.  So let the light guide your way hold every memory as you go and every road you take will always lead you home…”

Those words in the song made me tear up even more. Where will they go? How will their lives turn out? I have been their classroom ‘momma’ for a year. The other teachers laughed at me. They told me I was a newbie and there would be many more students to come. Yet, my heart ached for those students. My first students – I called them ‘my babies’.

Why was I so attached?  Well, I saw myself in them. I remember being that age and experiencing so much pain and uncertainty. I could see so much in their eyes. I wanted them to read and have experiences through literature that would expand their world, but they were simply in survival mode. We expect so much from this generation, yet life is dealing them some heavy blows.

As a teacher, all you can do is:

  • feel their pain and press through daily to create a safe environment that fosters learning
  • with passion – find ways to engage your students as they are distracted so easily
  • walk with purpose in getting them to the next level as an educator

Above all else, this is my mission as a TEACHER!

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