Thank you, Ms. Mary!

Believe it or not, yesterday was actually a pretty good day at school! Because half of my class was testing, we played math games in the morning and we had such a good time. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of multiplication and division practice. When we went outside, the kids love to play kickball and it’s usually super dramatic! They argue over who gets to pitch and half the kids sit out when it’s their time to be in the outfield. Uh, that is not fair! You can’t only play when it’s your teams turn to kick. In the middle of the game, a student kicked the ball and another went to catch it like he should. When he went to catch it, the ball went through his arms as he was in mid jump, hit his chest, and he bounced off of the ball onto his back. I was cracking up laughing! It seriously should have been videotaped and put on youtube. He was completely fine and got up laughing. It obviously wouldn’t have been funny if he was hurt. Guys, it was hilarious! And yes, that helped contribute to my good day at school…don’t judge!

To wrap up my Friday work day, I had the students present their lap books to the class. They were so nervous, but they completely impressed me. My one student who struggles with being nice to others and being motivated to complete her work was encouraging her classmates. She was saying things to them like “You can do it!”, “Don’t give up!”, and “You did an amazing job”. This blew my mind. I was so proud of her. On top of that, her presentation was amazing in itself. She had Mary McLeod Bethune as her famous Floridian. As a part of her book, she wrote a letter to Ms. Bethune. When she got up in front of the class, she announced that at the end of the letter we needed to say, “Thank you, Mary Bethune!”. She proceeds to talk about how she has never met Mary, but what she did has made a huge difference in the education of us in the classroom and for everyone in the world. She said that Mary risked her life for us and for that she is thankful and prompted the class to join in our response…”Thank you, Mary Bethune!”. How creative? I told her she should be a speaker. She asked if she could actually do that? Her reaction was perfect. She was so excited about that possibility. Yesterday, I was a very proud teacher.

When Monday rolls around, I will only have seven weeks left of my first year of teaching. It went by so fast! I’ve learned so much this year about teaching and about myself. I didn’t know I had it in me to be anything other than being a stay at home mom. I am not at all saying that being a stay at home mom is wrong, bad, or less than working! Staying at home all day with my kids was one of the hardest things I had ever done! I didn’t have the discipline to be productive. I became super lazy, gained a lot of weight, and didn’t do anything that was challenging or out of my comfort zone. It was huge for me to say ‘yes’ to this job and not just stay in my little bubble of what I know. I had very little self-confidence that I would succeed or that I could actually be an effective teacher. I still have a ton to learn, but I see that the future is bright and the future is very open. Because I took a step out of my comfort zone and practiced perseverance when times got tough, my new experience will open more doors and provide more opportunities than I had before my first year of teaching. I just read that one in ten first year teachers will leave the classroom by the end of their first year. I will not be that statistic!

Today is Saturday and we went to the USF spring game. We ended up buying season tickets in the second row! This fall will be a lot of fun. I guess I need to be a Bulls fan now. Go Bulls! I’m really excited because they play two Maryland teams this year, Towson and Navy!

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