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Can you believe????

Posted by Pauline on 11/01/04 at 10:06 (162683)

Wow, where did this year go? Can you believe we are closing in on Thanksgiving and Christmas isn't far behind.

I never feel a year older when it's my birthday, I always notice it more as the year comes to a close. For me, it's like turning a page in a book and starting another chapter when that new year rolls around. Unfortunatately or maybe fortunately you can't read ahead and find out what's going to happen in the new chapter of life. Personally I think its a fortunate thing.

Re: Can you believe????

Suzanne D. on 11/01/04 at 12:44 (162702)

Yes, Pauline, when we turn the calendar to November, I always feel that the year is speeding to a close! November and December are months that are so full of extra events for most of us.

For me, the 'new year' begins every August with a new group of students. As these children grow up, I really see time passing. Just this weekend, a 6'4' 'little boy' came up to me in a store where I was shopping and started talking. I always delight in seeing these grown-up children whom I have taught and finding out about their lives. Usually, they seem to feel compelled to tell me even about the things that have gone wrong with their lives.

This young man told me he had a child. I expressed an interest in his little boy, and then he went on to tell me how he and the child's mother 'hate each other' and about the hard times he's had with drugs and alcohol in recent years. He told me he was trying to get his life in order now.

I bragged on him for that attitude and told him he must get his life straight and make his little boy proud of him. My daughter who was with me smiled afterwards and said I 'preached him a sermon'. But it seemed he wanted to hear it. He came back up to me two more times while we were in the store to talk some more.

Well, this has strayed from your original topic (I'm good at that!), but I do know what you mean about turning pages in the book and beginning new chapters. And, yes, it's a blessing that we don't know what's ahead, I think. Each day has enough worries of its own! And it seems we are given the grace to bear our loads when they come - but not before.

Have a good week!
Suzanne :)

Re: Can you believe????

Pauline on 11/01/04 at 13:03 (162704)

Suzanne,
We never really know what impact we have on someone else. I get goose bumps when I read stories like yours because I don't think your meeting that young man was just by chance. I think there is a God who puts people in certain places at specific times to help others in need.

Maybe something you said to him is just what he needed to make those changes happen in his life not only for himself but for his little boy too.

You may never know the end result, but indeed you play an important role
in each and every students life.

Re: Can you believe????

Suzanne D. on 11/01/04 at 13:35 (162708)

Thank you, Pauline. I think you are right: I believe we all need certain words/encouragement at crucial times in our lives and that God can use us in that way for those purposes. I hope what I said was used to somehow help him.

You're also right in that we don't often know how our work affects someone else. I have never been a teacher who has volunteered to chair committees or tried to work my way 'up the ladder' to a central office position. I don't downgrade anyone who does; it is just not my style. I prefer to try to work quietly in my classroom with my students and, hopefully, help other staff in the building who may need an encouraging word or a listening ear. I feel those are the things I have to give and try to make myself available. There are times that I grow discouraged by the 'politics' within the school system or at my particular school. But then, meeting former students like I did Saturday makes those feelings melt away. It is at times like those that I realize what is important - at school or anywhere else.

We are out of school today and tomorrow, so I am reflecting more than usual!

Suzanne :)

Re: Can you believe????

Kathy G on 11/01/04 at 18:51 (162735)

It is the time of year for reflection. My youngest child, my daughter, starts her first 'grown-up' job next Monday, her first since graduation from college. I am so hopeful that she will like it. She turned down several until this one came along. There aren't a whole lot of jobs out there right now. Interestingly, to augment her thirty-hour a week job as a pharmacy tech, she has been a part-time nanny for two children, ages twelve and thirteen she's brought them to soccer practice, music lessons, etc. She brought them back-to-school shopping and still enjoyed herself!She even brought one for her annual physical!

She also has been substitute teaching at her local middle school. She loves it. This wasn't her first experience; she subbed a couple of semesters while in college.

She likes all children but she seems to have a real love for middle school children. I say that anyone who loves kids that age should become a teacher! If you can love a sixth grader, you're a rare being! Because teaching has become so entrenched in paper work and testing and because the pay is so low, she won't even consider going back to get her Masters in Education. She sees the teachers leaving school at 5PM and says there are so many other fields where she can get paid more for such long hours. Of course, she's only twenty-three so there's plenty of time for her to change her mind.

I truly believe that good teachers are born not created, and you, Suzanne, are a prime example. I, too, believe that it wasn't a coincidence that you ran into your former student at a time he was in need. You provide such a needed service in our society and I admire you and your fellow teachers so much. (Well, the good ones, anyhow.!:))