I had my dream Friday night and wrote the post first thing Saturday morning.
What a dream I had last night-it was so real and entwined with real events of the day! In the dream-I had two essential oil events scheduled-as I do today. One was a one on one with Tricia. The other was a rollerball class with Jessica in the afternoon. In the dream I looked outside and saw TONS of people walking in my backyard. There was a table there and they were sitting down. There were other people sitting in chairs. I saw some adults I recognized-Arminta, Teri, Holly, Ana, Sara, Annette, and Dawn. Then I saw tons of young adults (20-30 years old) that I did not know.
I said to Marty-I must have messed up and posted a class today and not remembered. Call Tricia and tell her I will get with her later. So I went to the table (Teri was at the head facing me) and asked them how many thought I always had my act together (I am accused of this all the time but those that do know me-know what an airhead I can be). They all raised their hands. Then I laughed and said well this is a great example of how grandly I can mess up because I don’t know why you are here! They laughed and Teri told me it was a teacher thing. Something about my name being pulled at a school event. All the people there were my grown students and some of their parents! I walked around and could talk to many of the grown students I had in the past. They all looked great, were happy, thanked me and gave me hugs. It was the most wonderful dream.
Whenever I have a dream that is so real-I wonder what triggered it. I retired December 2013 so it has been a while since I have taught. I was at a small business event the previous night. I saw a former intern of Sandy Robinson’s there-Jennifer Blank. She teaches at Royal Charter. I saw two former students-sons of Lori Grodecky. One is 18 and graduating this year-the other in 5th grade with straight As. Former student Amy McPherson was at last night’s event with her mom. She is in college-to be a teacher. I met a new friend at the event and when I told her I was a retired teacher-she asked if I missed it. I told her I missed the students, working with parents and the teachers but that teaching was a grueling job.
Last week I saw Odean at Cinemaworld. It was the second time I saw him there and he always gives me a hug. I enjoy seeing Troy Parsons at Pollo Tropical. There is nothing more rewarding for a teacher than to see his/her students out in public being adults. We all like to think we had something to do with their success.
It is so funny when I see a student, I sometimes cannot remember their name-but I remember them. When I tell them who I am they are amazed I remembered them. I can always tell them a story-like how I called Troy’s sister Baby Bear after a school show she participated in. It is amazing how many of them tell me they were sorry they were a bad kid. I tell them they were not a bad kid-they just sometimes made bad choices or had bad behavior.
Students do not realize how much teachers care. Sure-we are on the back-working towards excellence all the time. Sounds corny-like a school mission statement-but it is TRUE. I told a student once when he accused me of picking on him-that I cared about him too much to let him be a fool. That if I didn’t care-I would just let him keep going in that wrong direction.Many kids thanked me when they left Jupiter or when I saw them years later-for being tough on them and not letting them continue their bad behavior. I never felt that grades were everything when it came to teaching. I cared about those kids as if they were mine. I wanted them to be respectable people that could independently take care of themselves as they grew. There are some students I still worry about and pray for. They pop in my mind all the time-I wonder where they are and if they are ok.
I do not know why but when I woke up I had to get this all down. I am friends with some former students on Facebook that I was close to in school. To see them grown, working, raising children-is very exciting. Teachers are unique people. Teaching is one of the most difficult professions because we can never leave it at work-either we are bringing work home or we are bringing our student stories home-thinking about them, worrying about them, praying for them. Many teachers’ sanity and diligence is fed by the one note they may get a year from a parent or student-telling them they have made a difference.
This is not the first dream I have had about students. I had them every year at the beginning of the school year and throughout the summer. I may have been off work in the summer-but I was still working on projects and worrying about kids.
As tough as teaching is-we try to remember and focus on the good things and not on the things that break our heart-the kid moved out of state when he was just making progress, when you are told to stop your afternoon club unless you can prove it improves scores, and when the kids beg you not to leave in the middle of the school year. Like Marty said though-there will always be those kids, you will always have a reason not to leave. We agreed it was time.
If you are a parent-I hope this will help you see your children’s teachers a little different and maybe you will take a moment to think of your own. Know that the phone calls and notes you get about your child are because the teacher cares. If they did not-they would just not bother. Keeping in touch with parents is a LOT of work.l If you are a former student, know that myself and others at Jupiter-we always wanted great things for you. And for my former students and others going into education..GOD BLESS YOU! If I can help in any way-I will. We need new teachers that have a passion for the children like my peers did. I am in tears as I write this-because I do miss teaching and I do miss the kids. Last night’s dream was so real. I wish I really could see so many of my students again. I have boxes of letters from them I will never throw away. I am glad I am still somewhat local so I can run into them here and there.
I am sure the things I speak of here are not unique to me. Many teachers feel these things.
Thank you for listening to my rant and GOD BLESS THE TEACHERS!