The one upside to spring-cleaning with my children is finding “treasures.”
As a literacy teacher, I love to read through my children’s old journals filled with their writing. One recent find made me both proud as a parent and concerned as a teacher. I found a journal with a piece of writing titled, “Future Sermon.”
To provide some background, I knew my daughter was struggling with a class at her school at the time she wrote in the journal. I did not know how bothered she was…
With her permission, I publish her writing here to share with teachers and administrators the impact we make on our students, both good and bad. I also hope to share the “sermon’s” message, which is God Loves You and to remember to pray for others.
(For confidentiality purposes, the subject area is omitted and all names are fictional.)
Mr. Porter does the announcements every morning at my school, and at the end of them he always says, “Have a great day or not, the choice is yours.”
But how do you know if you’re going to have a good day or not? Well, that’s still part of your choice. You have to know, at the moment, if you’re going to have a good day or not, and I always want to say I will have a good day. But then something blocks my thoughts, and I couldn’t figure out what until a couple of days ago. And I found out that it was because I was worried.
You might be wondering why I was worried. I was worried because Mrs. Potts has not been teaching us this year. All she does is give us worksheets and think we can learn this on our own. And by the time the class comes around my day is ruined. It is not just that she expects us to learn on our own, I feel as if I’m invisible to her. I will raise my hand, she will look at me, and she won’t even act like I’m there.
Now when you get stuff like this off your chest, you feel so amazing and you don’t even know how much I want to tell Mrs. Potts this, and I almost have, but you want to know what stopped me? God! God stopped me from doing something I shouldn’t. So just know you’re never alone. And don’t forget, God Loves You! I wrote this on Wednesday when I got home from church. And you know how in the youth program you go back and talk about God? Well, this Wednesday we did something different. We talked about our hearts and if we were close to God. And I told our youth leader about Mrs. Potts and that I was worried, and you know what he said? He said, “Well maybe she is the one you should be praying for.”
That night when I got home, I took a shower, wrote, and then I got in bed. And that night I prayed for Mrs. Potts. You know if I hadn’t told my youth director about Mrs. Potts, I would have never known to pray for her and not just for me.
I’m a proud parent. As an educator, I hope my students and colleagues always remember some of the messages conveyed in my child’s writing:
- Our children want and deserve good instruction.
- If you want your students to respect you, you must also respect them.
- We want our students to feel valued, not invisible.
- Worksheets don’t teach; teachers teach.