In a time when we are losing teachers at a rapid pace, we at kid-grit wanted to share some love for what an enormous gift you, teachers are to this world. We are so deeply saddened by the exodus of you leaving the teaching profession. We know all the reasons why. And, we can’t say enough how important you are, how creative you are, how valuable you are, and how we believe that you have the most important job in the world. We have been inspired by the poem from Pat Mora, Ode to Teachers. So, going forward each month we are going to share a memory from all the people in our lives, we will hear from educators, professionals, current and past students, our elders, and more! We want you to know that you matter! We want you to know that you matter in so many ways, maybe even ways you don’t know.
Please enjoy these short passages from our colleagues in the education field from across the nation.
“I was 9 years old, I was beginning to notice something at home and then began to internalize problems at home. I was attending the first open classroom charter school in NYC, where the whole child is always first, I was unknowingly becoming withdrawn, sad, and feeling low. Lucy Rubin, my 3rd and 4th-grade elementary teacher saw me — like really saw me. She waited until the class left for the day, and asked me to stay. She touched my arm and asked me if I was OK. The tears flooded, and I began to sob. I sat in her arms for what seemed like hours, her gentle and kind embrace helped me let go of everything I was holding on to. I always felt safe in her classroom.”
Julia Gabor, Mindful Founder, kid-grit
“As a child, I was never good at sports. I was bullied and called every homophobic slur in the book. So, of course, physical education (PE) class became my worst nightmare. I’ll never forget the day I was playing in a PE basketball game; I could barely dribble the ball, but a teacher told me that I had ‘nice hustle.’ That positive comment has stuck with me ever since. The burden of negative treatment and bullying by others is so heavy, especially those of us in the LGBTQ community, but it can be lightened by teachers (especially PE teachers and coaches!) trained to support the social-emotional health of students.”
Daniel Hatcher, Alliance for a Healthier Generation
“When I was in middle school, there was a teacher that I knew of, but that I didn’t have as one of my classroom teachers. Over my years at the school, I got to know her better and I viewed her as a role model, mentor, someone to look up to. She took the time to get to know me, even though I was not in her class, and that meant something to me. She helped me grow to have different perspectives, understandings and compassion for life. She gave me books to read, we had long talks and we even did some people watching. I learned by watching her wild and care free spirit that life was all about living it to the fullest…to always help others when you see that they are in need, to laugh, smile and LOVE… To Seize the Day was the lesson she taught me. It’s amazing the impact a teacher can have on others. I believe it’s the teacher mentality that is a gift. I said in the beginning of this writing that she wasn’t one of my teachers. I guess when I began writing this, my mentality was narrowed in on classroom teachers. After writing this, I realize she was my greatest teacher, and I never had her in a classroom. You can encounter a teacher anywhere, as long as you are open to finding them. I am forever grateful for how this teacher went out of her way to teach me about life. *Gratitude*”
Jess Wadleigh, Skillastics