This morning, I went to school. Notice I say “I went to school”, not “I went to work”. I rarely say, “I went/go to work”. I go to school. I go to school because I am a learner. I learn something new every day. I go to school, where I am a teacher, a learner, a helper, a coach, a guide, a supporter, a role model, a symbol of security and yes, a mother. I help my children to learn. And yes, they are my children. I never say, “They are my students”. They are my children. From the moment they enter my classroom, they are my children… even when they come back 20 years later. They are my kids. I help them, love them, guide them, coach them, cheer them, encourage them, and correct them. They are my children.
Today, in our classroom, we learned about the importance of water on our planet, we learned how to access information online (Thanks Jill!), we learned about fractions and symmetry, we learned about being kind to each other, we learned to accept differences and we learned about being 6. Today, we read, we wrote, we danced and we played. We learned. Today, 16 of 18 students that came to school today, chose “Lunch Bunch” (Lunch with me) over any other prize on the cart or in the room. Today, we put on Pharell Williams and danced for 4 and half minutes straight to “Happy” just because we are kids. Today we had “free time” During that time, 2 of my boys wrote a story because “We are GREAT writers”, my ELL student practiced telling time, my speech student practiced her sounds with my phonics cards and other students either “played school” or read to each other. Today we were a family.
My children are more than a score. They are more than a number on a test. They are more than what a test can evaluate. Honestly, I could care less if they can “close read” or “use multiple strategies to add or subtract”. I am growing people here. What teachers do is so complex; it cannot be quantified into a number. Neither can people, especially children.
At the end of every day, I take my “walkers” to their parents and then walk back down the hall to my bus line. I am always in awe of the amount of children coming down the hall. There are literally hundreds of them. Usually there are less than 50 adults to monitor what is happening. Children are laughing and happy. Parents have entrusted their children to us. It is awe-inspiring. THEY ENTRUSTED THEIR BABIES TO US. And those babies are growing. They may not be growing as fast or in the way NYS would like them to, but they ARE GROWING. It is amazing. We are growing people. Not numbers. Not test scores. Not data points. If that is not humbling, then I don’t know what is.