School is out for summer! Woohoo! At the end of a long school year, there are always some good and some bad things that dot my days. Here are just a few bad woes and some inspiring wows to give you an insider's view into my life as a teacher at Sunset Ridge Middle School.
There were a few moments in this last week of school where my heart felt heavy and saddened.
One big woe is that next year I will not be working closely with the same lovely faculty that I have bonded with over the last 3 years. My 8th grade team (Language Arts) and pod (History and Science) have been such a support, and although we will still all be in the school, my move to 9th grade will definitely change things up. I fear that it wont really hit me until we start school again how much I love them and enjoy their company.
Another woe was from a student. This said student has been a pain to work with in the last month of school. He simply refused to do an assignment (one that really wasn't that difficult, I might add), and instead spent lunch detention in my room ever day for the last 3 weeks. Even so, I still care about him and tried to work with him and help him, but he simply refused. Then, in the last week of school, I got a nasty letter from him telling me how much he would have enjoyed this year without me. I can't lie, it made me cry. Plus, I found another note in my books (from some other student in the same class) that said some very hurtful and crude words to me. Put it all together, and you'll find one very disheartened Mrs. Macey. I cried, and even as I cried I had to admit that I still cared about those stupid punks. When I talked to my mom about it later, she observed that those notes exposed more about those students than they did about me. Still, it hurt. Teachers get bullied too in middle school :(
But, let me revel in some wonderful "Wow" moments to brighten the mood.
I always end the year with students writing Thank You notes to teachers/administrators/faculty that they feel have impacted their 8th grade year. I don't ask for them, but every year I do have a few student write to me and thank me. This year there was one in particular who stood out. This student I see as "my little Ismael" (backgound story: My dad, Ismael, struggled in school and he always asks me to take special care of "his" kids: those kids who don't succeed easily and maybe need a little extra support and love). So this student is definitely one of those; he struggled in Language Arts until we moved him to a smaller class, where he thrived. Suddenly, he was more confident and excited to learn again. I don't know what it was that I did, or how I taught, but for some reason I was really able to connect with him. At the end of the year, he came up to thank me...not once, but 4 different times! It was the sweetest thing ever and made my heart burst. He wrote me a letter, and I'll share part of it with you now:
..."You have done so much for me, more than any teacher ever has. I now enjoy Language Arts because of you, I've gotten better at many things and I have completely changed. I am a new person now. Mrs. Macey, please keep doing what you're doing, because you're great at it. I honestly can not thank you enough...."
I mean, WOW! I was so touched by his words, and so grateful for the opportunity to touch his life in such an important and profound way. This is why I teach.
Another wonderful moment came as I wrote my final message to students and parents. I usually write weekly emails to inform parents of what we've learned throughout the week and remind students of upcoming due dates. This last message was different; I was able to reminisce about the life-lessons we had learned throughout the year and send out my final message of love and hope for my students. Writing it, I was overcome with a sense of love for each one of them (even those punk kids afore mentioned in the "Woes" section). You can read the email/blog here if you care to.
I truly do love my job. It comes with high highs and low lows, but it is all worth it in the end.
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Andrew and Maichael
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