I am frequently asked what I do. When I reply with, "I'm a teacher," they ask which grade. When I tell them that I teach 5th and 6th grades, the response is usually, "Bless you! I could never teach those kids! So much attitude!" I smile and tell them thank you and let them know I love my job. They look at me like I am crazy and the topic changes.
I am crazy! I totally love my career and can't imagine doing anything else. Sure there are moments when I am so frustrated I cry and pull my hair in anger. Some days, I forget the joy of teaching when I am weighed down by curriculum and testing and meetings. Planning lessons that are engaging and reach students of all levels and learning styles is very challenging. All the paperwork we have can literally suck out all my strength.
But most days, that doesn't happen. I get to see students read books that they never thought they could and write stories they never knew they could. I listen to students explain why they now love to write and read and share their learning! I watch them learn to work with others and learn from them. I hear honest concerns about school and home. I participate in discussions where sixth graders discuss their thinking and prove it. They agree and disagree respectfully with each other and no one gets their feelings hurt. Opinions change. Respect grows. Students confront each other over kindly misbehavior and volunteer to help them correct it. They learn to persevere when solving problems. We laugh together, cry together, and learn together. My students improve my life every day.
Teaching is a blessing. I am grateful for my teachers who inspired me and to my friends who encourage me. I am most grateful to God for allowing me the privilege and responsibility of my profession. I am also humbled that He has giving me this gift.