Sunday, October 7, 2012

Why Do You Come To Work Every Day?

That's the question Bossman has asked us to discuss in our PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) during Wednesday's inservice time. Oh, there are other things scheduled. Other learning we will be doing. But this is the first task on the agenda.  I've been thinking about it for several days.  It's a question that hangs with me.

Monday I came to school to begin our demonstration speech unit. I think it's my favorite speech.  I am privileged to sit and learn about the passions of my students--most of those passions I don't really have a working knowledge of, so it is truly a day of learning.

Tuesday I came to school to wear J's volleyball button as she played her first JV game. She was nervous about moving up. I think she was worried about what her friends would think and what the JV players would think.  She did great.

On Wednesday I had to come to school to chew on a student a little bit.  This young man is in my room twice a day. Once for speech. Once for freshman English. He's smart and personable. He thinks he's going to get by in my classes because we can laugh and joke around. I needed to tell him to quit being a slacker. I was tired of getting less than his best. He looked kind of astonished that I called him on this, but his attitude about the work changed.

New Boy started on Thursday in my 8th hour class. So I came to school to make sure he had a smiling face and a safe place to land at the end of the day. I talked to my students on Wednesday about being the New Boy in a new school two and half months into the school year. They rose to the challenge. They made sure he didn't eat lunch by himself. They introduced themselves in classes. And they fought over whose video group he was going to be in.

Friday I came to school to celebrate with K.

It was the first week she made it to school ALL day, EVERY day. Really. Going back to when I had her as a freshman last year. K isn't much of a school kid. She could be. I think she wants to be.

She wants to please.
She wants someone in her corner.
She wants to matter to someone.
She always had me. This year, she has another (thanks, Roomie). And, it's making a difference.

At midterm, she had Ds or Fs in most of her classes. As of Friday, she has only one. And that should be moving up when some last minute work gets recorded in the gradebook.

That was last week.

Tomorrow I'll be back
to listen
to cajole
to smile
to laugh
to cry
to learn
Tomorrow 








18 comments:

  1. A short answer to that question is: BECAUSE YOU CARE! Thanks for sharing your week and all that you do.

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  2. Lovely, and loving! That's why I come, even though I'm not really in the classroom anymore, I come for the students. Deb, your students are very, very lucky to have you "in their corner". What a great question to ask!

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  3. Wonderful! Thanks for your writing (and feelings)!

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  4. It sounds to me like you have great leadership this year--what powerful reflection to nudge you towards. I hope others are getting as much out of the exercise as you are. You show up for all the best reasons (to connect with your students, to push them, to learn from them, to learn with them, to teach, to plan, to celebrate, to live your story)!

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  5. Such encouraging words for one who believes that way but has been discouraged of late...thanks! I will go back after Fall Break reinvigorated and focused on my own "whys."

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    1. It's hard to not be discouraged sometimes. That's why this question was good for me at the time. Also on Wednesday, I would have taken an early retirement package in a heartbeat!

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  6. You make a difference to so many lives. It's not just the kids you see daily but all who read your blog. Great post that lingers in my mind too.

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  7. I commented the other day, Deb, but wanted to tell you that I shared your question on the newsletter I create for my staff. We have our retreat at the end of this week, so thought I'd put it out there for us to reflect upon. Thanks!

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    1. I'm so glad you shared. It really is a great question to think about.

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  8. What a week! Loved the story about K. - she's lucky to have you, Deb!

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  9. I got goosebumps after reading K's story. Good for you for noticing what she needs and how lucky she knows you are in her corner... it's this kind of stuff that make me want to come to school each day! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. She's a great kid. She began coming into my room almost every day after school. First for a friend and then for herself. She's just my kid.

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  10. I like it, Deb. So, funny because ultimately, I think these are the answers any leader would want. The picture unfortunately gets jaded and less clear because of all the tangibles that shove out the intangibles. We are teachers because we care. Because we want to care. Because we have an agenda that has nothing to do with a scripted program. Because we are passionate enough to lead with our hearts. Thank you for reminding me of this today.

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    1. Love this comment. You hit the nail on the head

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  11. Well done! It's important to be there for students. Learning can only come after they feel part of the community of learners.

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  12. Love your comments about K. I have my own student like her this year and feel encouraged by your vision for her.

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  13. A thought provoking question to remind us of what really is important! I loved hearing your thinking through the week and identifying individual students -- not assessments, not standards. Continue making a difference!

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  14. Your piece made me cry! I wish my boys had teachers like you in their lives!

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