giving thanks #15

My thankfulness continues into the new year.

When I was a child, I always loved school and wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. When I went to college on my way to being grown up, I started out as an elementary education major and never considered any other focus. I received my degree and later added a couple more. I went on to teach for 34 years.

I spent most of those years as an elementary classroom teacher, with three (l-o-n-g) years in middle school mixed in. The last ten years I was a reading specialist, working with students and teachers, and while I loved that position, I often reminded those I worked with that I would always be a classroom teacher at heart. I was blessed to teach at a time when nurturing and having fun learning were mixed with standards and memorization of certain math facts, scientific laws, and states and capitals.  I planned my own curriculum units and believed in project-based learning long before that term was ever used. I loved every minute of those years: I adored the children, I appreciated being able to set my own path, and I valued the relationships developed along the way. In the years before my retirement, I was saddened by the drift (the march) to testing-based instruction, and I was able to hold on to my integrity only because the school administration where I worked did not force the staff to follow the outrageous expectations from the central office leaders in our district.  Consequently, I was able to grow in my own knowledge and love for comprehension-based reading strategy instruction and deeper thinking skills. And along the way I met so many, many good books, which line my shelves today.

I believe God called me to be a teacher, and I was blessed abundantly to use the gifts He gave me to be able to follow that call effectively and with all my heart.

I am so thankful.

5 thoughts on “giving thanks #15

  1. What an amazing career! Like you, I feel like I’m a classroom teacher at heart, though currently not in a classroom, and constantly wondering if it’s time to go back…

  2. Donna Smith says:

    This makes me smile! I have had similar experiences. I must remember to be thankful for all those wonderful years of teaching, too!

  3. jehansen13 says:

    This is beautiful! Thanks for the reminder of looking back with a lens of thankfulness and looking forward with a lens of optimism!

  4. I cannot wait, one day, to be as grateful as you are to be a teacher. I only have this year and the last under my belt and I can already feeling my heart swell.

  5. LuuLuu says:

    Loved your post. I feel I was called to be a teacher too. And although I have MANY years to go and I wish school was like it was when I was there I know I need to stay because it was my calling and I need to be there for who is important and that is the kids, Because like you I feel I was called too. Thanks for your great post

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