Monday, October 15, 2012

Dear Teacher,

Life has changed so much since I last wrote to you. All for the better. I remember being in school and talking to my parents, friends and teachers about becoming a school teacher after growing up. Of course, at the time, it was severely frowned upon, to the point where I had to give up on even thinking about teaching as a career. I tried to follow the "respectable" path of finding ways to make my career.

You know what? I don't care anymore what people say. I have decided that if I wanted to be a teacher because I had high school teachers who were awesome, then I should not let society make that decision for me. I need to be a teacher, experience it and then decide for myself whether or not it is a suitable career for me.

So now I teach Physics at a high school, just like you taught me Physics. Its frustrating as hell. Teenagers won't listen to you, of course, they know what's best and what's right, they talk, they get on your nerves and make you wonder why you became a teacher in the first place.

Then there are students like this:

A girl, J.L, walks into my class after school with her boyfriend, to introduce her favorite teacher to somebody who is very important to her. She shows me photographs of her nephew who was born last weekend. She laughs and jokes with me about all sorts of things. Purple is her favorite color and she loves it that I always keep a purple pen with me just to grade her papers. She gives me a warm hug everytime she sees me :)

Another girl, J.C., brings her mom to the PTA meeting. They go visit all other teachers and come to my classroom at the very end, because she wanted to save the best to the last. She wanted her mom to meet her favorite teacher at the very end. J.C.'s mom tells me how happy J.C is to be in my class and how much she loves physics. She wants to push herself to be my best student so that she can make me happy, she works because she loves it and because she knows I will appreciate it. J.C. aspires to be the best student in her most favorite teacher's classroom :)

Another student, C.S., usually has behavior problems and problems with female figures in an authoritative position. He struggled the first couple of weeks in class, dealing with my position in his life. Then something came over him, and now he works each day as best as he can to finish every worksheet that is assigned to him in my class. Whenever I walk past his desk, I now get to hear him arguing about physics, instead of arguing about his favorite sports team! He now has the drive to ace my class and finds himself laughing and being happy during the 46 mins that he is with me :)

Another students, T.W., comes and hangs out in my classroom after school. Because she has nothing else to do and there is nobody else she would rather be around during tutoring hours :)

Another student, D.B., brags about his perfect score in physics and then pushes himself further to do better in my class, because it is his goal, his aim to be the best student I have and to impress me each day with his smartness :)

Another student, M.V., collects bottle caps for a cancer patient as a part of charity and is pleased everytime I give her bottle caps from the bottles that are left behind in my classroom each day. She brings me doughnut holes for breakfast sometimes of Fridays. She takes it upon herself to help a kid with limited english proficiency by translating my physics lessons to Spanish! Not only is she excelling in my class, she is bring other kids along with her and sharing the wealth of knowledge! :)

Another student, N.J., is very shy. He doesn't talk much in class when I ask questions, unlike the other kids who yell out the answers. He always raises his hand and patiently awaits his turn. The look on his face, everytime he gets the right answer, that happiness and enthusiasm, cannot be compared with anything else in the world. The look on his eye which clearly tells me he is surprised at himeself for being thing smart and pleased at the same time, can warm my heart any day of the week :)

Another student, K.R., always asks me how my day has been, or how my weekend was, whether I took time off to have fun and wants me to come see her at her work place and buy a smoothie from her store :)

These are only a handful of kids that I have mentioned. There are so many more. But even just these handful of kids make it worth it each day, to wake up at 5:30am and drive to work, to stay up late at night and work weekends to plan my lessons. Any day that I feel low, I just remember these kids, and automatically find a smile across my face.

Being a high school teacher is hard work.

But if I can change the life of even just one kid by being a teacher, it makes it worth it.

Totally worth it.

Thank you for being my high school teacher. Thank you for being patient. Thank you for working those long hours to educate me.

To all my school teachers. I love you and think you are awesome :) I hope to be just like you!

Your loving student,


Doublehead said...

The best tribute anyone can offer to a teacher. A good story well narrated. All the best wishes to you in your profession which you will carry out with passion. Teaching is not just a job, it is a passion for most teachers.

P said...

I loved physics all through high school, and university. Even though that's a memory now, decades later, and the fact that many of my colleagues have also become high school teachers, I find it amazing to think of a high school teacher being a blogger like this. It's like two different ideas, or mindsets overlapping. I'm glad you get these amazing students, if I was in your class I'd hope that I'd have been one of these amazing ones featuring in your blog!

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