I talked briefly about why I am thankful for my students in Reason #4. I’ll talk more about them here and probably in other postings as well. Because when I began substitute teaching in September 2011, I thought it would just be a job at the time. I’m halfway through my third year substitute teaching, and I can honestly say substitute teaching is not simply a job. Substitute teaching has been a series of experiences which have molded me into an Educator. And as any true Educator knows, there is a reason why you refer to your students as your kids. You take pride in them, are disappointed in them, become so angry at them you do not even want to look at them let alone say so much as a muttered “Bye” when the bell rings, smile when you see them because they are such good kids, give them space when they are having a tough time, are hard on them because you know they are capable of better and you expect it from them, give them a break because waking up in the morning might be a Herculean challenge, indulge them because it would be easier for both you and them, discipline them because they ought to know and act better…and above all, care for them.
I am thankful for my students for helping me to become an Educator. Without them, I would not have applied to graduate school, or been as determined to attend graduate school. I can remember talking with one student, just casually, filling in an otherwise lull in the day. I was telling her about my cousins in Florida. “I’d love to move to Florida,” I stated. “Then why don’t you?” she asked without hesitation. “I don’t know…” I responded, knowing there are a number of reasons why. “Why not?” she adamantly asked me.
“Why not?” A question that is very simple. Two words with such ambitious connotation. Why not go after that dream? Why not do something you’ve always wanted to do? Well, why not?