Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It Was the Best of Times. It Was the Worst of Times.

But, mostly, it was the best of times.

As I make the transition from full-time teacher and wrangler of teenagers to home-maker and soon-to-be-mom, I have reflected back on all of the adventures I've had with my students. Teaching is by far the hardest thing I've ever done, definitely harder than I realized as a bright-eyed student at BYU. Still, it's been one of the most rewarding things I've done, and I can't imagine a better career to have spent my time and effort pursuing over the last six years.

There are times I have wanted to pull my hair out, moments I have shaken my head in disbelief at the words that come out of my students' mouths, and instants where I haven't been able to help laughing out loud. Many days, all three of these happen, and that's one of the reasons I love being a teacher. It's never boring.

I learn so much from my students each day. Here is some of the "wisdom" that I have gathered from their writing...

A friend will walk away from you when you get annoying. A true friend will tackle you and duct tape your mouth shut.

The more I learn about boys, the more I like my dog. (I hope she changes her opinion on that, but not for a few years...she's only 12).

On a scale of one to Prussia, I'm Prussia.

Hopefully, I've taught them something, too. I've gotten some interesting questions over the years, such as...

Are there elephants in the Mojave Desert? (not naturally)

Can we skateboard in your classroom? (no)

Is Mexico in the United States? (not yet)

What's that thing called with the dot and the comma? (a semi-colon)

Last week, I found myself laughing as I considered the question I had just asked two boys in the hall (I only laughed after I was out of their presence, mind you):

"What possessed you to think that picking someone up by the legs and swinging them upside down in circles in the middle of a crowded hallway at lunchtime was a good idea?" 

His answer: "I don't know."

And I know he was telling the truth. If I have learned only one thing from six years of teaching, it is that seventh grade boys often don't know why they just did something idiotic, dangerous, or otherwise completely unhelpful. Is it bad that I'm getting used to it? 

So, here's to the over 1100 students I've had walk through my doors over the years. I've certainly learned from you, my scholars. I hope I taught you something worthwhile in return. And if you didn't learn what a semi-colon is, I hope you learned the far more important lesson that learning is always possible, often important, and can be fun if you let it be.

Maybe I'll be back in the classroom someday. Until then, I'll be teaching (and learning) in a whole new setting.


Ashley said...

You were the best teacher! It came so natural to you. Good luck on your new adventure!

Graham said...

I'll miss getting the play-by-play each evening over dinner.

Carol said...
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Carol said...

Teaching your own children is even more I well know. The questions keep coming, their answers are often puzzling, their logic...well...what logic? All in all your time as a teacher in the schools has prepared you for the even more exciting adventure of being a Mom. And Graham, the stories over dinner I'm sure will continue!