This is a pretty exciting semester for me. I am finishing up my Masters degree and in December I will be walking across the stage with that degree in my hand. My mama will be there hopefully and I know my dad would be proud of me of he was here and I’ve got to say that I am pretty proud of myself. But once I am finished is when the real decision time comes. With a Master’s degree will have more choices and can even become a principal but that would mean leaving the classroom. Right now I can’t even imagine a life where I wasn’t in the classroom. I know it sounds weird to some but it is where I feel most at home when I’m not at home. Nothing makes me happier than standing in front of 30 high school kids waiting to see what s going to happen next. It is the one place I feel that I can really be myself. When I’m in the classroom I can be funny, serious, smart, kind, loving, strict and even angry and most of my kids understand. The classroom is my sanctuary. When I’m there with my kid and everything is running smoothly everything is right with the world and I love it. But the main reason I love being in the classroom is because when I look at those kids in front of me I see hope. People talk about how bad our kids are and how they worry about the next generation but they just don’t see what I can see. I can look back at the students that I have taught and see so many of them making a difference in the world. I think I am fortunate to live in a time where it is so easy to keep up and stay in contact with people so easily. I see wedding pictures, children, posts about their careers and each time I just think how proud I am to be a part of their story.
I am sure if the right job comes along I will take it but it’s not going to be easy. I was watching a documentary called the American Teacher the other day and they quoted some statistics that 46% of teachers leave teaching before their 5th year and that in the next 10 years over half of teachers in the work force today will be eligible for retirement. I felt like a special breed. Someone who can walk through the Blackboard Jungle and not just survive but thrive and go back for more. One of these inevitably I will walk out of the classroom one last time but it is not this day and until that day I am going to enjoy every second of it. So I want to dedicate this to all of my students but also to all of my fellow teachers that have persevered and love their job!