Monday, September 1, 2014

Call me Crazy...

As I am finishing my second Monday of the semester and beginning the second full week, I am....tired. Nothing philosophical about it. I am dead tired. I could go to bed right now and easily not wake up until tomorrow at 8:00. I crave a hot bath with soothing music, where I can just soak for at least an hour- refilling the tub with freshly steaming water every 15 minutes or so. I would slip my head under the water and close my eyes, basking in the comfort calm and darkness. But instead, I have lesson plans to analyze and write and I have to clean and I have to do laundry and 10,000 other things and I am back to the majority of my year.
It is so easy to get bogged down with all of the things I need to do that I forget to enjoy this experience. I am only in college for one more year after this, and then I will be out in the world. I am hit with this realization more often this year than ever before. I have found myself putting off doing dishes, or pushing a pile of laundry aside, or closing my textbook to just sit and laugh with the people I hold so dear and know I will not always be with. College is a unique experience, but what is even more unique is college at FC. This place is not normal...No, it is far from your usual college. This place creates family out of people who start out as total strangers making awkward small talk. Family that will separate after just a few years of being together and roam the world to shine their lights. This is not time to take for granted.

But I knew all of that. What I am realizing more than ever in the short period I've been working this semester is that my heart is where it should be. As I write these lesson plans and read about truly teaching children and educational policy, I have a thousand thoughts. I think "No wonder people complain about the education system" from time to time... But more than anything, I see the faces of the children I have already worked with in my life. I think about that time one of my kids finally understood place value and had a celebratory dance session. I think about the love I have for these children who have touched my life so exponentially and I think, "How could I want to do anything else?"

I am reminded that through hard work and determination can come beautiful successes. And I feel a ball of excitement (and a twinge of nerves) well up within my stomach.

I recently had to write my "educational philosophy" for admittance into the education program, and it felt like spilling my heart onto paper.

It read,

When I was six years old and sitting in my first grade classroom, I decided I wanted to be a teacher one day. I remember watching my teacher, Mrs. Cheatham, writing new spelling words on the overhead projector. I scribbled them down, picturing how much fun it would be to be a teacher and get to write on an overhead every day. While my reasoning may not have been very sound then, my dream never wavered. Once I entered high school, my future goal became a true passion. I encountered teachers who made me realize the impact that educators have in the lives of their students. It was then that I also started realizing how lucky I was to have the life that I have had. My eyes were opened to situations that some children are helplessly tossed into. I heard phrases like “never had a chance” and “well, look at his family” used to describe my peers or those younger than I. I don’t remember the exact moment, but one day a light bulb went off and I knew that I was meant to use my love of learning and my care for children to fight for those who “never had a chance” because “look at their families”. I don’t expect to be a teacher who has a Hallmark movie made about her, but I know that I have a chance to represent Christ in a way I wouldn’t have in any other profession. I will have the chance to be a role model for children who may really need to know that someone cares.        

To me, education is more than books and math problems. It’s a window into this world and a chance for a better life. I’ve seen people I love destroy their lives with drugs, I have seen promising young students give up, and I have seen where they ended up. It is my mission to prove to children at a young age that learning is a beautiful opportunity and regardless of their educational success, life circumstances, and all else, that they are loved and important. They are too good to succumb to the evils of this world and throw away the incredible things they could accomplish. Teaching isn’t just a job or a paycheck, it’s the chance to help even just one child recognize their potential and rise above circumstance. I want to teach in low income schools. I know it will be hard, but I also know that this is what my heart is meant to do. I could never imagine doing anything other than teaching and I am willing to work as hard as I have to in order to become the best teacher I can possibly be.

My goal, my purpose, is to show children that they are so so valuable. And while I can't tell them, I want them to know that they are in fact, so valuable, that someone died for them. Someone suffered pure agony and torture for them. That what they are born into does not hold them hostage and that they are loved.
I recently found a quote online that  I have on the door to my room now.

The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
I think I have opportunity to be that crazy person right in front of me...and I think I would be even crazier if I didn't take it.

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