Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why I do it

Teaching is about a million times harder than I thought it ever would be. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in 1st grade with Mrs. Rodman. I KNOW that teaching children is what I'm good at and what I'm supposed to be doing, but it is still hard, no matter how long you've been teaching or how many teaching awards you've won.

This year has been especially hard. We have giant classes in 4th grade this year - 25 students barely fit in our rooms. I have one student with autism that has made me both cry & laugh and she has taught me so much about myself as a teacher. We started teaching all the subjects this year when we used to departmentalize (we each had our own specialties: science, social studies & writing). We have more on our plates this year than ever before. I've wanted to spend as much time in my new home with Minnie or in Prairie Village with Ellen.

Today was a L-O-N-G day with it being the last day of 3rd quarter and the last day before an 11-day Spring Break for the kids. We were also preparing for the State Assessments which begin for us the Tuesday we get back after break.

I came back to my desk after dismissal to find two handwritten notes sitting on my computer keyboard & leaning up against my monitor. The kids know NOT to put papers on my desk because, "my desk eats papers." These were notes from two great kids (a boy and a girl) who sit together at the back of the room. This must have been what they were working on during D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read)! I'm going to type the notes as-is so you can see the lovely writing I get to read everyday!

Note #1:
Dear Ms. McKnight,
I hope you and Minnie have a great spring break. I'm determened to finish the spring break packet. I will work on my short cut multiplication and remember to put the zero down. I hope it will get nice and maybe even rain a couple of times. I like to listen to the rain and watch the lightning. I plan on going to Omaha over spring break and freinds from Wichita are coming down. They are all girls but they are fun. If you plan on going anywhere than make sure to keep yourself company.
From, Boy
P.S. I'll really miss you!
P.P.S. I really hope you have an awesome spring Break!
P.P.P.S. What is the reward for finishing the spring break packet?

Note #2:
Ms. McKnight,
Have a wonderful Spring Break! Hope there is going to be some nice weather. You deserve a break because you are a FANTASTIC teacher you always make learning fun! You are my favorite teacher I've ever had. I think Minnie is a super cute puppy. I want a dog really bad. I'm determined to finish the spring break packet so I can have a reword. I love they way you decorate for holidays, I've never had a teacher that does that. You are TOTAlly my favorite teacher. P.S. I like the way you spuce up my day by showing us pictures of Baby Ellen it made me laugh when you drew on the picture of her also when you show us cute pictures on the smart board it makes you unique in many ways.
From, Girl.

THAT is why I do what I do! Thanks, kiddos!

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The Lunds said...

Draw on pictures of Ellen? How dare you! (Ellen spuce's up my day, too, everyday)

Bets said...

Yep! I drew in Ellen's Conan hair with my red SMARTboard pen ... she looked so cute! :) Ellen in her snow boots is my current computer background, so her rooster hair is in full effect!

Anonymous said...

Yeah :) Now keep this post at the top of the list. You'll refer back to it a lot on "one of those days." Sounds like you are doing some pretty special stuff with some special kids. They can't fake that kind of love!

The Huffman's said...

Betsy, those were the sweetest notes ever! You obviously are a great teacher!!!! I do hope you enjoy your spring break.

Beth said...

Oh my gosh, those notes are so touching, well written, and tell you so much about those kids. Wow. I think teaching is a noble and fun profession, and I'm glad you are a teacher!

... said...

I agree with everyone!
Is Eddie Haskell in your class?

distaff said...

You DO deserve a Spring Break ... but so do your kids. I don't envy them coming back to testing, but that's the way of the world anymore. Hang tight and plan some fund for you next week!

RachelC said...

Those notes would go in my happy box for those crappy days where you need a lift. Last Friday my class did an activity where they had to write positive comments on everyone's sheet. They were so sincere and observant that I felt so proud of them. I put their notes to me in my happy box.

Erin said...

What a fantastic group of kids! Of course you are their favorite teacher...never had a doubt!

Marie Hooker said...

VERY sweet, Bets. I have always known you are a great teacher, but it is nice to hear it from the kids sometimes. Hmmmm...none of MINE wrote me notes yesterday.....What does that mean??

Caroline said...

Betsy, these notes are so touching! What you do is one of the most important jobs in the world -- so glad a few students recognize how awesome you are! Have a wonderful spring break!

Anonymous said...

Love those! I hope you keep them in a special place. I know I look at things like that on days when say...a student kicks me! :) Keep up the good work, Ms. McKnight! :)
J :)