Monday, June 9, 2008

Teaching Points

Waiting outside the ice cream store. It's 10:48 a.m. 95 degrees. It doesn't open until 11. (I'm sure you could serve that smoothie before 11 on a day like today--might even make up for your drab winter sales....)

Why am I here? It's gift card time again. Time to say "thanks" and "so long" to our teachers from this year. I'm Daughter #1's room parent, and the other room parent and I decided on a "gift card basket" for the teacher. I've since decided on a giant pop-up display card which showcases her teacher's favorite phrase--"Keep on the sunny side"--and her gifts as well.

Got me thinking about how amazing teachers can be. Granted, they are not all perfect or necessarily great matches for our kids. But, teachers are still amazing in what they do. Truly, not everyone can teach. Even the Bible tells us that is a special gift.

My Dad was a college professor for many years, offering up biology to socio-economically varied and ethnically diverse classes in an inner city college. I didn't appreciate his challenge until, as a high school student, he let ME edit his students' lab papers. Hard to teach biology when you are teaching them English and grammar at the same time!

My in-laws both taught--one elementary school and the other middle school. Teaching was an all-consuming career. When they got home, there were papers to be graded, lesson plans to be created, new books to be evaluated, etc., etc. And, in those grades, you have all the "growing up" moments to nurture on top of the full slate of academics.

My girls have both needed special education, and so I know full well the learning obstacles to overcome and the creative teaching methods required to reach these kids--a constantly shifting bunch of objectives and approaches...and did I mention personalities??

I believe teachers are called to fulfill their roles. What we don't learn directly from them, we learn from their influence. Gift cards will never be enough thanks. But, it's something fun for them to do or have in the summer months "off."

[OK, it was 11:09 and Cold Stone was still closed. I left. Went to Ukrop's for a gift card. Found Cold Stone cards on the rack. Who needs Cold Stone?.... Maybe I should have bought the Ukrop's card anyway.]


The Patterson 5 said...

Teachers certainly do have a wonderful gift. They work long hard hours and thier salary doesn't reflect thier worth. The joy of watching thier pupils finally "get it" must keep them going. I thank God for our teachers!

Chatty Kelly said...

I cannot imagine the patience level needed to teach. Thank God for our teachers is right!

And Keep on the sunny side - except when its 100 degrees...then I'd settle for a little shade...and a cold stone ice cream for sure!

My ADHD Me said...

You forgot another obstacle teachers face. PARENTS!! Can you imagine trying to work with little ADHD Alberquando and His ADHD mom! Talk about the blind leading the blind!!

I Have been VERY lucky with my kids teachers so far. They have been wonderful in spite of the fact that they have to try to decipher my emails.