7.23.2008

an open letter to myself

Dear Kelsey,

I am writing this so that you remember what it is like to be passionate about your job. I am writing this so that you remember the rush you felt when you walked into your classroom for the very first time.

You will, unfortunately, be used and manipulated, and you will be tested by students who want to get a step ahead, but when they look back in 30 years they will remember most how you responded to their efforts. Remember your classes from college-- sitting around tables, brimming with excitement when you discovered a new teaching method that worked. Getting that report back after student teaching that said, "I feel like you've been at this for years."

Don't forget this is your dream Don't forget the imaginary class you used to teach in your bedroom--wind whistling through your missing teeth as you read Dr. Seuss to stuffed animals.
Don't forget this is your gift. The Lord has blessed you with the abilities to control a classroom and hold student's attention. To bury these gifts would be a shame. Don't forget the notes you received from your Seniors when you finished student teaching, or the money your freshman raised for your move to Kentucky. Don't forget what it felt like to leave those students and know you had given them 100%.

You will get tired. You will get sick of the routine...but so will your students, and they are looking to you to see if you will break this time. Don't break. Let them know you need their support as much as they need yours. Let them know that you expect the world from them...and don't ever stop believing that they will give you anything less.

Don't forget the time everyone around you was confused about the direction they were headed; about what career they would land........and then remember that you've always known-- that "I am a teacher" comes as easily to you as your name.

When papers stack up to be graded, write each comment with compassion, like you always said you would. Your students will read your scribbled writing in red, "Be sure to pick past/present tense and stick with it throughout-- it will make this beautiful story even stronger." And they will hear in those words, "Someone still is taking the time to believe in you."

Remember to wear comfortable shoes because you need to be actively moving about your classroom all day.

When at first they don't understand Shakespeare, stick with it and remember the not you received from jock Jake's mom that said he was coming home talking about Romeo and Juliet.

Remember your "mission statement" in college that you wrote saying you will "Teach students, not subjects." Remember your college's vision for "Teacher as a Servant,"---that you aren't doing your job completely unless your students feel as if they are being served. Remember that Jesus was a great teacher. Remember to learn from your students. They have so much to teach you-- don't become too proud and forget this.

Above all remember that you love what you do. And remember that nothing done in love is ever wasted.

Sincerely,
Kelsey

3 comments:

Micah Wolf said...

thank you for sharing this. I was just thinking the same thing for my job....to remember the passion for my job, even on the days when I am beat down tired and when my patients are late or are not doing their part at home, they are not getting better.....even on those days I need to remember. thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was very touched when I read this. I somehow knew, way back when you were in third grade, that you would someday become a teacher too. I am sure that your future students have no idea how fortunate they are that you will be their teacher. I would love for you to come back to Maysville in the future and be Michelle's teacher. I know that you will be an OUTSTANDING teacher!

Lorie

Beck said...

You will fly HIGH, your students will remember you as their favorite.
Teach, teach, teach and when you run out of something to teach, give them the o-clocks!