She's Worth It - My That's-Why-I'm-a-Teacher Moment

Discussion in 'General Education' started by samrangel, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. samrangel

    samrangel Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010

    Hello all,

    I wanted to share something that really had an impact on me, and reminded me of why I became a teacher. Funny how it seems that I'm being reminded of this a lot lately.

    We have a student who has been diagnosed with Autism, and has been becoming more and more violent lately. Well yesterday, she had an episode in my class. She had to be forcibly taken out of my class kicking and screaming. I've seen a lot in my many years of teaching, but I had never seen that.

    Recently, the distric has hired an outside company to help with this student, and we learned that the parents had given permission for this company to use physical force if necessary to control the student's outbursts. Well the company sent someone to serve as this student's one-on-one aide.

    Yesterday, was the first day that the student had contact with the aide, and it wasn't pretty. The student focused all her anger and frustration on the aide in a way that I had never seen before. The aide was kicked, punched, slapped, scratched, and hit by this student. The aide had been prepared for this, and didn't back down. By the end of the day, however, there were scratches on the aide's neck and blood on her shirt, but the student had calmed down, probably out of exhaustion.

    Today, the student had a wonderful day. There were no outbursts. There were no attacks. The student went through all her classes without any incidences. It was amazing. I'm not an expert, but it appeared that yesterday's events had taught the student that all her attempts to get her way weren't going to work, so she followed instructions and obeyed the teachers.

    Later, I was listening as a teacher on my team was talking to the aide. She was commenting on how different the student was and how great the day went. Then she told the aide, "Sorry you had to go through so much stuff yesterday, pointing at the scars on her neck."

    The aide said something that made us all pause.

    "She's worth it."

    Here this aide who didn't seem more than 23 years old had made an impression on this old teacher that forced me to re-evaluate how I see the students in my class. "She's worth it." She's worth all the punches. She's worth all the scratches. She's worth it.

    I felt a little ashamed in that I was spending a lot of time thinking how this student was taking away from my class time, from my comfort, from my peace.

    As teachers, we're going to have students who are going to cause us stress. They're going to take away from our easy day. They will cause us pain, maybe not in the way that this student caused the aide pain, but pain nonetheless. We're going to feel that we don't deserve to have to put up with it, that we shouldn't have to spend extra time dealing with their disruptions. That is normal. It's part of being human.

    Today, I learned a new response for just such moments:

    They're worth it.

    That student who is making me so frustrated because he's not even trying, even though I've spent so much time with him, - he's worth it.

    That student who gets mad at me and gives me dirty looks because I called her parents after she didn't turn in her project, - she's worth it.

    That student who makes me re-teach the lesson because he wasn't paying attention when I gave it the first time, he's worth it.

    Every student, even the students with the poor attitude, have value.

    I'm going to let them see that in my opinion, - they're worth it.

    I know that it will pay off in the end. They'll come back someday and thank me for being that one person in their life who gave them value. I love it when that happens.


    Here's to lots of Success In The Classroom!

    Thanks,

    Sam
     
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  3. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010

    Thank you for this! Couldn't have come at a better time for me. I'm going to print it off and hang it above my desk.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 14, 2010

    What an incredibly beautiful and inspirational first post, samrangel.
     
  5. ms. yi

    ms. yi Comrade

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    Oct 14, 2010

    I needed this. I'm having one of those years where there doesn't seem to be enough of me to go around. I've never had students who've needed me this much and I don't want to be that teacher who lets them down or dumps them into the "doomed to fail" category. They need me and you're absolutely right. They're worth it.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Mind if I share your post with my school?
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 14, 2010

    Welcome and more than welcome to A to Z, samrangel. This old so-and-so has got goosebumps, reading this.
     
  7. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Oct 14, 2010

    Wow, just the post I needed to read.

    Thanks for the inspiration.
     
  8. samrangel

    samrangel Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010

    I'm glad you liked it. I'm never going to forget it.
    Sam
     
  9. samrangel

    samrangel Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010

    I'll be stopping by more often. I promise.
    Sam
     
  10. samrangel

    samrangel Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010

    Hello Ms. Yi, Feel free to share.
    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  11. samrangel

    samrangel Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010

    Goosebumps are a rare thing for us veterans, but when we get them, they are powerful reminders of why we do what we do.
    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  12. samrangel

    samrangel Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2010

    You're welcome.
    Sam
     
  13. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 15, 2010

    I think I know some at my school need to have a copy of this :whistle: Maybe it will make them remember why we do what we do (or should do). Thanks for sharing.
     
  14. samrangel

    samrangel Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2010

    We all have to be reminded
    Thank you,
    Sam
     

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