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I would like your support…

This post is written based on stories I have recently read, conversations I have had, and personal experience.  All quotes are from my students end-of-the-year evaluations on our class.

Dear parents, fellow teachers, administrators, board of ed. members and taxpayers,

I would like your support to try new things.

I feel more confident. Instead of viewing things as “I can’t do that” I now view them as “now I will be able to do that.”

I would like your support to not have to stop teaching to give more standardized assessments.

I wish I could stay in this class one more year because I feel like now I understand what he has been saying the entire year: “Be yourself, step out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to show who you really are.”

I would like your support to push the kids to exceed their expectations.

You inspired me to be myself and take risks.

I would like your support to get professional development that is useful.

I am more independent and I try to express myself as who I am and not who people want me to be.

I would like your support to get kids online.

He showed our class that we can make a change not just in us, but the world.

I would like your support to share what we do with the world.

You always try to push every student to do beyond their best and always tried to pick people up instead of putting them down.

I would like your support in being creative.

If I didn’t have this class, well I probably wouldn’t have known how to be different.

I would like your support to spend time going deeply into topics, rather than be forced to cover the surface of many topics.

I feel like I can be myself and not be judged in this class that felt like family and home.

I would like your support to do things differently than everyone else.

I could never thank you enough for letting me overcome my fear of being myself.

I would like your support to use time during the class to talk with the kids, laugh with the kids, cry with the kids.

You taught me to be myself and be proud of who I am.

I would like your support to not make school a “job;” learning is not a “job.”

We were able to try and take risks because everyone felt like they could do it, because they listened to their heart and not just their head.

I need your support when things get tough not by telling me what to do, but by inspiring and empowering me to exceed the expectations I have for myself.

This teacher encouraged me to work harder than I thought was humanly possible to not only challenge myself but to share my accomplishments with people.

I would like your support to be able to make a decision on my own.

I have always lived my life in fear I wouldn’t do or say things that I really felt or meant or wanted to do or say. It wasn’t until the first day of school when that ended.

I would like your support to say no to policies that do not support student learning.

The thing I like this year is that we were able to use our imagination.

I would like you to support me when I offer a suggestion on how to implement your ideas based on your zero years of classroom experience, before dismissing my ideas based on my 23 years of classroom experience.

This class really gave me confidence, I learned to be fierce, be powerful.

I would like your support in not stealing the students’ opportunity to struggle by modifying things to artificially induce success; they must do hard things to feel good about themselves.

I came into this year wound up and tight. But over the course of 184 days you took the most wound up person you’ll ever meet and made him as loose as a rubber band.

I would like you to support me by believing me when I say that paying me more than the teacher next door based on my students test scores will not make a difference in how I teach.

I cannot thank you enough for being a wonderful yet life changing teacher to me.

I would like your support in making new policies, laws, and procedures for me to follow that focus on the real problems.

Mr. Bogush made me feel like my social studies class was like my second family.

I would like your support in not treating learning as if it has a middle and an end.  Learning has a beginning that never stops.

I’ll never forget you, and I hope you’ll never forget me.

I would like your support to take time in my class to center it not around the value of historical facts, but the value of my students life.

Thank you for teaching me not to be afraid and showing me that good enough is not enough.

As you can see from the words of my students this year I am doing a pretty good job without your support, but imagine what I could do with it.

7 comments

  1. I loved this post until right near the end, where you said
    “I would like your support in making new policies, laws, and procedures for me to follow that focus on what the real problem is…you, not me.”

    Suddenly you made a plea for support into a passive-aggressive piss-off letter.

  2. No No No!! That wasn’t supposed to be there!! I had re-written that line so that it didn’t come across like that! Those words were originally linked to another sentence. Apparently I uploaded one of the first drafts. The post (I hope) now is the final draft with additional lines, and many minor changes.

  3. Word, brother. Preach on. I am so there. I’m glad that you are still cautiously optimistic. Thank you for having the courage and the vision to say what needs saying. I wish more teachers would speak out this way.

  4. Thank you. Spot on. I only hope to bottle the goosebumps & inspiration I’m feeling right now! This is why I teach. This is what I aim for each year, each term, each day. 🙂

  5. May I be lucky enough to be the teacher you are in my 23rd year. I’m glad I have 16 more to go to get to that point.

    Great stuff – I’m sharing this with all the teachers I know and care about.

  6. Last October, when my mom was in rehab for a broken wrist, she had former students who recognized her. These women were in her high school classroom back in the 60s. She’s 91 now, a little over a month short of 92. Back then she used to get calls from parents telling her that she had their support.

    Back in the 80s, I taught Freshman Comp at several community colleges. No one ever mentored me. The one man who did observe my class practically ran me out of the college. I would have loved to have had a chance to improve.

    At another college, the dean took a student’s side in a grade dispute and that was the end of that. The department chair could not back me up because he had never observed my class, after two years of teaching.

    When I would ask questions about resources from full time faculty, I was met with indifference.

    Given that I was only a few years older than my students, I was in a tough position. I felt more of a need to assert my authority than maybe I should have.

    I had no mentors anywhere, and, looking back, I was not a good teacher. Had I had a mentor, perhaps I could have been. The desire certainly was there.

    Now that I’m in my early fifties, I can draw up life experience that I didn’t have back then. Would have been nice to have gotten support from faculty as well as from students.

    The closest I got was when this young fella came to see me in a makeshift office to apologize for me for disrupting my class. He led, as I thought of them, my very own Sweathogs. I will always be grateful to him for acknowledging that I was frustrated.

    If I had received adequate support, I maybe still wouldn’t be teaching, but I would have had a better time of it during the four years I did teach.

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