The night before the first day of school I was anxious, excited, and wanted to vomit. I had planned and prepared as much as a perfectionist possibly could and still felt the need to do more. I sat down after sorting through files and color coding my calendar and thought about my “why.”
Why did I want to teach?
No matter how many times I tried to justify a career change with the salary, benefits, or schedule, it always came back to the students. So in my finals efforts to make sure the first day of school would be perfect, I sat down and scribbled down my why in a letter to my students.
To my English students:
In this class you’ll learn how to read, research, and write,
But along the way you’ll learn wrong from right.
You’ll learn about goals, about failure and success,
You’ll learn what it takes to be better than the rest.
You are more than a student when you enter my room,
You’re a dreamer, a doer, a poet waiting to bloom.
You’re a winner, a conqueror, a victor, a leader,
Turning into a writer, researcher, and reader.
Your words are powerful, keep that in mind,
They can help or harm, rebel or remind.
Use proper grammar, write clear and concise,
When researching, please check your sources twice.
Read a little each day, whether a novel or a page,
Reading is important, no matter your age.
This class will be fun if you follow a few rules,
Come to class, pay attention, and don’t act like the fools.
Think for yourself, open up your mind,
Be respectful, honest, courteous, and kind.
Believe in yourself and conquer your fears,
Enough with the rules, let’s have a great year!
I’m now two weeks into the school year and can’t imagine ever doing anything else. I know some days I’ll question why I chose a cut in pay for an increase in stress, but I also know that THEY will always be worth it.