Before the sun comes up, I wake at 4:30am to head to the gym to workout. I like working out because it’s healthy and it gives me natural adrenaline for the day. I get home take a shower, put my PJ’s on and have coffee, time with Jesus and social media.
I get lunches ready, take my vitamins, grab a BIGGER coffee mug, my Teacher bag and keys. Then I’m out the door. I sometimes drop off my grandson at his school before heading to my school.
I grab all my things: Teacher bag, lunch bag, coffee mug, water bottle, potting soil, sand and cups (science experiment-things I bought) out of the car and head to the door. I walk in the back door and see all my beautiful kids faces. Some are lying the the floor asleep, some are frowning, one is crying, some are talking and some are smiling.
I realize by their faces I might have a rough day ahead of me. Because before anyone will listen to my teaching, I have to deal with the emotions, listen to their problems and solve them. This is a daily challenge.
I have the students come to the carpet from their seats. This is a challenge for us because they want to talk to their friends, so I count down from 10 to 1 and they quickly come to the carpet. I have to grab their attention again because some are still talking on the carpet, we sing “When we all get together”. I start talking about 3D shapes and the differences between 2D and 3D shapes. One student is bothering another student. Some students are talking, so they are sent back to their seats. Some are listening. One is lying down on the carpet. One is screaming, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” So I stop my lesson and take care of each situation before returning to the lesson and continuing on.
We get lined up (they’re not good with transitions because they like to talk) and head out the door. We walk to the cafeteria get our food, sit down at the tables and eat quietly for 10 mins. If we have been quiet for 10 mins, then we can talk to our friends quietly. I eat with my students. I do not get duty free lunch. I am with my students all day.
After lunch, we clean our tables, line up and head back the to classroom.
Once back at the classroom, we sit down, practice how to line up for 5 mins , then walk down to the bathrooms outside the office. We line up and stay quiet while we wait for others to go to the bathroom. I am constantly telling them to be quiet, be still, turn around, hurry up, etc. Finally, everyone is finished and we walk outside.
The students start to play, then someone comes to tell on someone else, or someone was mean to them, or said a bad word, or hit them, or someone got hurt, or to tell me there are bugs on the playground.
Once back into the hallway, we get water and go back to class. They get their book boxes, put them on the desks and sit on the carpet. We have a reading lesson. Some are talking and I send them back to their seat. Some are going to sleep and have to be awaken. Some are tying their shoes, some are using the bathroom and some are listening. I stop the lesson to take care of each person and continue on with the afternoon activities.
I pass out homework folders. The students get their bookbags, put their folders in them, any materials they need for that night and line up at the door. I walk them to the buses and tell them “I love them and I will see them tomorrow.”
I stay an hour after school because I am tutoring students. I stay later to make sure I am ready for the next day for my own students. It is 5::30pm.
I teach 1st grade. I teach all subjects: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Phonics, Social/Emotional Skills, Technology, Recess and Lunch. I am expected to teach my students to grow 6 reading levels if they leave Kindergarten on grade level (on target). If they are below grade level (not on target), I am expected to grow my students 10 reading levels. I am observed and evaluated 4 times a year. I have to prove 4 times a year that I am a good Teacher. My Principal or Assistant Principal sits in my classroom and watches me teach. They also watch the students and their behavior and engagement to see what I am doing about it. I have to make a proficient score or I’m considered not a good Teacher.
I have 20 students in my class. 20 different personalities, 20 different home lives, 20 different behaviors, 20 different learning styles, 20 different emotions, 20 different learning disabilities and not one student the same as the other.
I love my job. I am purposed for Teaching. I am a great Teacher and will continue to be a great Teacher with or without support for Education. We all had teachers. Someone who believed in us or was hard on us or who taught us something that we finally got or who spoke positive things into us.
We pay more to sports than Teachers, we pay more to TV and Movies than to Teachers, we pay more to most Professional Professions than we do Teachers, YET we ALL had to have a Teacher to teach us in school and we couldn’t/wouldn’t be where we are today without them.
I STAND UP FOR EDUCATION in North Carolina today because I know how important my job is and that the FUTURE of this world relies on ME. My HOPE is that YOU do, too!