Friday, October 4, 2013


It's been a week, and I have to say that I am ready for this weekend. Teaching can be so taxing sometimes. Dealing with all of the different personalities that come with the kids we teach.... Managing paperwork, planning lessons, grading papers, meeting with teachers about the kids we teach. Yep, it's time for the weekend!

Funny how certain students can work their way into your heart though. They don't even have to be the sweetest, best, or brightest, it's just something about them that makes you want to see them succeed. Not just in middle school but in life.

I have one student now who wants to become a counselor, and I can so see her in that role. Unfortunately, she has a long road ahead of her because, from what I can tell, there will be little family involvement and encouragement to get there. It's going to take her own intrinsic motivation and determination - perseverance - to make it.

Another student is the embodiment to me of the book, "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys." This particular student has helped roof houses and wants to work in a field that requires physical labor. He wants to go home at the end of the day with that feeling of accomplishment you get when you work hard and have something to show for it. So, of course, I have him reading poems and discussing theme and figurative language.

He was a little late getting an essay turned in and had to finish it today during a time set aside for completing make-up work. He was working in another classroom, and I had two students in my room whom I don't teach and who are anything but motivated. I finally told one guy (who had been looking at the partially-completed page of a late history assignment for at least an hour) that sometimes we just have to do things we don't want to do. And that it will happen when he gets a job, too. Enter my "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys" kid with essay in hand.

"I'm finished," he said as he waved the paper in front of me.

"Great!" I said. "Now, I want you to be honest. Was this something that you WANTED to do? That you just couldn't wait to jump into?"

"No, Mrs. Johnson, I did NOT want to do this."

"But you did it anyway," I said.

"Yes, I did."

Note to guy looking at the partially-completed page of the history assignment for the 65th minute. "Chevy" finished his work, and he didn't actually want to do it.


It's nearly fall break. (Did you hear that sigh?) We have three days of testing and shortened class periods. Three mornings of not being in my own classroom but on the 7th-grade hall (gasp!). And then, then fall break.

*sigh* I'm ready for that.


Cindy said...

Roban, I so admire teachers. These kids are lucky to have you in their lives. I was thinking about the teachers I really liked and the ones that I really is funny but they are all the ones that made me work hard or encouraged me. Enjoy your days off. remember to just breathe. I am going by my real name Cindy now, not Cinner anymore. hugs.

Roban said...

Cindy, I've only taught nine years now, so my first class are just now in their senior year of college. I can't wait to find out how things turn out for them.

miruspeg said...

Your photo speaks volumes Roban!

Teaching is more than just a job, it's a calling, an ever-surprising mix of gruelling hard work and ecstatic successes, both big and small.

Your greatest asset Roban is your gift to inspire, lead and motivate your students and never forget to keep in the forefront of your mind your work truly does have positive ramifications for your students, their families and the future.

Thanks for sharing your story my friend and have a lovely weekend.

Namaste and hugs
Peggy ♥♥♥

Kelly said...

I work as an instructional aide to 7 teachers. So i know those kids that needle their way into your heart, some you know will just find trouble where ever they go, some just frustrate you to no end but you try to find redeeming qualities because you know, nobody else will. I admire teachers and all that they do and the impact they can make. You rock Mrs. Johnson!

Relyn Lawson said...

"Taxing" is putting it very diplomatically. Very. It's exhausting and draining and nearly deadly sometimes. I know just exactly what you mean. Those same students who drain us so much also give us energy. Yes?

beth said...

teachers are amazing and i can tell by what you wrote that you're the kind of teacher those kids are blessed to have....because you FEEL them.....even though i know how hard that must be.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you! I think teachers are sooo amazing! Hope you enjoyed your weekend!!

Nancy said...

The kids in the classroom today need more teachers like you who really care and see beyond the exterior into their dreams....I appreciate you and all you do for the kids you impact....