Sunday, May 20, 2012

In humble admiration

It is interesting as I sit here and look back across the sands of time and try to study my own path and what led me to be a teacher. You see, I never intended to become a teacher. As a matter of fact, as a child I hated going to school and often would play sick to stay home. So, the thought of spending my life in a school was not my was my nightmare! As a student I was the child who would rather crack a joke than answer the teacher's question. I did not like doing my homework. I did not study for tests. I seldom paid attention in class. And, my grades reflected exactly what I was putting forth. Maybe I was not being challenge enough, maybe my teachers did not differentiate their teaching in order to meet my learning style. Perhaps, I was just one of those kids who did not really see the value of school and therefore I was unwilling to invest myself.Or maybe, I was not a student who had what it took to get good grades. Whatever the underlying cause I did not like school. I struggled everyday to get up and get through each day knowing that there was going to be sometime everyday I which on of my teachers was going to ask for me to hand in some assignment that I did not have done. It was a like living on the edge of a volcano that you know is going to erupt is unavoidable....disaster just waiting to happen. When it did I always had an excuse that allowed me to slide a little further along. Then it happened. It was during my junior year that I was sitting in a science class trying to just make it to the bell and hoping that my teacher would not ask me for my past do work. As the bell rang I quickly grabbed my books and headed for the door only to be stopped by those dread words...Mr. Wollam....I need to see you before you leave! ThereI stood trying to will my heart to start beating again as I turned to face my science teacher. He had pulled his chair over to my table and was waiting for me to come and sit down. I was ready for it...I was sure that he was going to I've me another Charlie Brown lecture and I would hang my head and beg for one more chance. Instead, here sat a man who was ready to offer a helping hand. He accepted no excuses and told me to listen. He described himself as a student and how it was not until he got to college that he finally learned how to study and do his work. He told me that if I would spend my time doing the work up front it would change how I felt about school and would also take less work than I was doing now while trying to avoid the work and trying to stay out of trouble. I listened....really listened. What he was talking about did not sound to hard and it made sense. So I told him I would try. He promised me to help any way he could. And so for the first time that I could remember I began to work. The amazing thing was that I did start to enjoy school. I was no longer worried about late assignments, tests or quizzes. By being a proactive learner I was changing who I was as a student. For the first time in my school career I was making the all A honor role! And to beat it all my last 6 grading periods of high school I had straight A's. I had not suddenly become smarter. It Was more simple than that. I had a teacher who met me where I was and found away to take me to the next level. I had all the tools I was just using them in the wrong way. This teacher help me to become the learner I am today. Those are foot prints from my past that still guide me today.

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