Today, I walked into an eighth grade classroom where "my" kids were. The students I had last year. There was a groundswell of "Ms. Triiiiteacher, Ms. Triiiteacher..." And smiles. Let me tell you about the smiles. Every one of their faces swiveled in my direction, lit up in shining recognition.
I felt famous today. And gratified and fulfilled.
I said a brief piece about how I'd be co-teaching in that particular class two days a week (more cheers from the crowd) and then yielded the stage back to the eighth grade teacher. Throughout the class period, I worked my way through that crowd, asking about this one's horse, that one's favorite book from last year, checking for pretty shoes on the girl who shared my shoe fetish... reconnecting with the kids to whom I grew close last year. I have a great job.
It makes me more committed as I start my new role this year. I am teaching English to speakers of other languages. In this role, I get to be with many, many students across three grade levels. I have an opportunity to be present, to weave together my knowledge of 11-14 year-olds and my different areas of expertise: math, science, literacy, Spanish. I have the chance to do it all.
Vow: I am going to be the best, hardest-working, biggest-hearted, most attuned advocate and teacher for these students. I want them to excel, I want them to feel great, I want so much for them... let me see the way to give them the best in me.