Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not Many Mondays Left

There aren't many Mondays left in this school year.

I know some of my colleagues are counting them down with huge grins on their faces and looking forward to not knowing what day it is when they wake up. Personally, I am struggling with these "final" Mondays.

This is my first time looping with students. The majority of the kids I'm teaching this year I've gotten to know over two years. I was really worried about making this transition but now I'm worried about these kids leaving. This looping has reinforced what I have felt all along about teaching - that building relationships is the most important part of what we as educators do.

Monday I shared an audio clip by Eric Thomas which asked, "What is your why?" My students posted to their blogs what they felt motivated them to do what they do. This video got me thinking about my own life, both as a teacher and a parent.

There is nothing more important to me than being the best parent I can be. As any parent can attest to, this is no easy task - especially if you come from a household without parents or parents who were dealing with other problems. My parents were both alcoholics and to this day it still bothers me. It's hard to understand what it means to be a good parent until you are one. I'm not sure this makes sense but looking back I know I didn't grow up in an ideal environment and learning to be a parent has been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I know I'm not perfect and I know I've apologized to my oldest son for some of the things I've said or done as a parent. I continue to learn as a parent and hope that I can always give my kids what they need. They are my "why" in my life. Why I go to the gym each day to stay in shape, why I wake up early to get the most out of each day, why I try (but don't always do a good job of this) to stay positive, why I try to be the best person I can be - they are my why.

The other part of me that is important is being the best teacher I can be. Some days I wish I had taught my own kids so they could see why I spend my early mornings planning or connecting with teachers on Twitter or attending EdCamps (my oldest son calls them Teacher Nerd Camps). I know why I started teaching - like so many teachers, I was inspired by another teacher. Her name was Mrs. Bailey, my fifth grade teacher.

The why I often try to answer is why do I still teach the way I do- giving everything I can and really never taking a moment to not think about teaching? And the answer is simple. I teach because of kids that walk in my room everyday. These kids are my "why" in the other part of my life. Why I get up early on the weekends and plan, why I constantly think about how I can make their day, month and year memorable, why I talk about them to people like they're my own kids, and why I love what I do everyday. These kids are my why.

Yeah...there aren't many Mondays left in the 2015-16 school year. These kids are why I don't want the Mondays to end.

Be sure to check out my man Dr. Eric Thomas' Website - he is a true inspiration.