I became a teacher not out of glorified dreams but out of necessity. I needed to teach because I knew that if someone gave me a chance in a classroom I could make a difference, I could help kids from all walks of life learn. Teaching wasn’t a choice for me, it was something I had to do to feel complete, to feel that I was giving back, that I mattered.
So in these times of unrelenting teacher bashing, stress, and uncertainty, I retreat into my classroom. I don’t work less, I work more. I find the safe haven in my room and I strengthen my dedication to my kids. I cherish the every day, like riding home from show rehearsal with my students today and them being so excited. I cherish the girl who asks for a hug because she feels like it or the excited chatter amongst the kids when they discover something new. I cherish the short time I may have left with my students.
Tomorrow my district meets to write lay off notices and being a third year teacher my name is almost certain to come up. And yet as I think of the future I am not afraid. I know that no matter what gets decided, I must be there for my students. I must continue to believe in my kids, I must continue to dedicate myself, I must continue to be the best teacher I can be and then some.
So although my laundry is in piles and the dishes are in the sink, I labor over a complicated city building plan that will be a surprise project for my students. I spend time thinking of ways to make tomorrows math lesson more relevant to my students and I dream. I dream of the things we will accomplish, the challenges we will face, and the hard times that are already here. If this is the end of the road for me, I can only look back with pride, knowing that I gave it my all. That I gave them all of me, both the teacher and the person. I did make a difference and will continue to do so until the last day arrives. I became a teacher to make those dreams come true, to help others achieve their dreams, even as mine gets taken away. Thank you for giving me the chance to live it.