Thursday, September 6, 2007

back in the saddle again

This is my classroom. I teach theater to 350 kindergarten - 6th grade students every week in this room. This is one place in my life that I really feel like I make a difference.
Children come into my room everyday from all different places in this world. Some speak English. Some do not. Some have parents who love them and hold them and treat them as if they are precious gifts. Some do not. Some have homes to return to at the end of the day. Some do not. But in my room, they are all important and precious and capable.
This is where my best parenting skills become so important. I firmly encourage and I happily celebrate and I tie shoes and I listen and I praise and I scold and I feel the pain that they feel and I share the joy that they feel and - most importantly - I remind them that they are important in this world and what they do matter and what they say matters and how they feel matters.
And because of all of this, I know that what I do makes a difference in this world. Some people may ask "why do you bother to teach theater to little kids?" I say, "Because we have to."
The children think better because I teach them theater. They are kinder because of it. They see the world differently because of it. They are willing to take more risks because they believe that they can. They know that this whole small world is theirs. They know that their lives which stretch out before them can be wonderful.
They see each other in theater. They see their families in theater. They see themselves in theater. They see me in theater.
The children see the possibilities of this world in theater and that is why I have to teach theater to little kids.
I guess that it should then come as no surprise that I decided to ask to be released from my contract at the Children's Theater. How could I possibly jeopardize my teaching job when I see that I really do make a difference.


Rose said...

Congratulations to you! You're so right; teachers do make a difference. I believe that to the center of my being and I am reminded of that each and every year. I'm also glad to know that arts are still being recognized and valued in your district, no matter the emphasis on standardized testing. Thank you for contributing to the world in such an important way.

Shandy said...

Yea for you for deciding! You are making such an impact on those students' lives! How lucky you all are to have each other! I am so missing my students this fall. It will be my second one without 150 highschoolers all up in my business every day! Tee hee. So give those little ones an extra squeeze for me! I've always said that teaching requires some real creativity...lucky for your students you've got tons of it! XOXO

by Johanna Brandvik said...

Hurray! You're a marvelous teacher and your students LOVE you! You are totally irreplaceable! Did I spell that correctly? It looks weird. In any case, I'm very happy for you because you sound very happy about your decision!

Nonna said...

you go girl! Sorry if my "advice" before was so long winded...I hadn't realized it was until I hit submit! I'll try and be less verbose in the future...but hope you found some of my thoughts helpful.

Sew Succulent said...

how fabulous. your kids will remember you forever.

so I have to tell you a funny story: I link to your blog from my blog. I check it frequently via my blog, but it seemed as if you had not written anything in *ages*. Finally today I wised up and realized that I had linked to your archives!! no wonder i wasn't seeing any new entries. lordy. losing my mind.