Thursday, January 9, 2014

Teachers Make a Difference

Sometimes it just happens that you meet someone unexpectedly whom you share a deep bond with...I just met a woman from Seattle, Donna, who was an art teacher and is retired like me.  We talked about what a hard job teaching is. She had 180 students every day, coming in every 5 minutes for art.  An inhuman schedule.  I related, as I had students using the library all day, and a principal who liked to surprise me with unexpected groups.  She even had a special needs student come and just sit in the library.  She instructed me not to talk with him, but how could I not?  I should have reported this principal.She was clearly taking advantage of a situation, since she did not have a teacher for the student.  
     The public doesn't realize that teachers often teach in incredibly stressful situations.  No wonder American students are struggling and lag behind students in other countries.
     Like Donna, I also had to write grants for supplies and even "construct" facilities with little support from administrators.  Sometimes we spent our own money on supplies and resources.
But we got through.  One day at a time.   Donna just connected with a student she had 30 years ago whose life she changed.  He had been looking for her and they met during a performance by a men's choir where he was a singer.

I also had a pleasant encounter when I was approached by student I taught five years ago.  He name was Martellus Sanders.  He told me he remembered me working in the library and mentioned an atlas that had given him, which he still uses.
Donna and I made a difference.  It's nice to be reminded of that.

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