I was only into my second week as a teacher when I sat down to write this spoken word poem. I don’t know what made me take pen to paper (or finger to keys) except for the fact that I wanted to capture my all feelings of being a teacher, what my students meant to me, who I wanted to become, all that I valued, and all that I wanted to change about what it meant to truly be a “TEACHER”!
Dear student, you are capable of more than you know!– Madison McQuary, August 2018
Despite what others might say, I see your ABLE and not your label.
That label does not define you….you are more than those words, than those phrases, than those names. You are more!
Dear student, I promise to see your potential no matter what others might say and no matter the actions you put forth on some days.
Because the fact of the matter is that we as teachers are here to teach you. But if I don’t teach you to believe in yourself. To believe that your dreams are attainable and worth accomplishing. To believe that you have a purpose and can be more than anything anyone else would ever say of you….than there’s something missing
Dear Student, you see, I am here to teach you a topic and a subject to broaden your horizons and your mind to things you didn’t know existed till now, to fill you with a zeal for learning, and to increase the capacity of your brain and knowledge on a wide variety of topics that make you think, marvel, and wonder about life and the world. However, more than that I am here to be someone who believes in you, who encourages you, who never gives up on you and who constantly pushes you to not just be a better student, but to be a better person every single day.
Dear student, maybe I’m naive in thinking that we as schools should always want what’s best for you despite the attitudes you give us, and despite what other teachers might say (you do).
Sure, I’ve barely been in this job a day, but if it takes being naive to fight for you despite what others have have to say, then I never want to be any other way because I want to foster relationships that last and do more than just make sure you pass.
Dear Student, I didn’t choose this job for the money, for my own success, for the lunchtime conversations or the constant positivity at best…I knew the “cons” and comments that would come with this choice…the fact of the matter is that I chose this job not for me or my own abilities, but because I saw an opportunity in recognizing the abilities in you and giving you a voice! I chose this for you…I chose this job for students because that’s who it’s really about.
Dear student, this job was never about making my life better first, but about making your life better, through the connections you experience in my classroom, because through that passion you discover for your life and dreams you exponentially add a zeal to mine!
Dear student, I am not here because “those who can’t teach,” because there’s no “Can’t” in teaching….only the mindset that “those who can’t, CAN make a difference”. Maybe for some teaching was plan B, but that doesn’t mean I see you as second best. You were, are, and should always be plan A because that is exactly how I see you….as an A….as Amazing, Astounding, Astonishing, and Accomplished…..to see you as anything less would discredit your infinite ABILITY!
Dear Student, it is you who make teaching worth it. You who fill me with joy, inspiration, and drive to not just be a good teacher but a better teacher! On the good days and the bad you add more than meaning to my life, because teaching is not just my career, it is my passion and for you I will fight. I might not be able to impact every student that walks through my door, but every day I do my best to rescue every starfish, because if I can make a difference to even one, than I have not failed, but accomplished something more than I ever thought I could.
Dear Student, if you take anything away from my class I hope that you leave knowing nothing great ever came from something easy. The best choices require that we take chances, make mistakes and get messy along the way because “failing forward” doesn’t show us we are failures, but rather that we must be willing to start again, take another path, make a different choice, and never stop trying….after all without chances, mistakes, and getting messy our path wouldn’t be illuminated by light bulbs in the darkness of uncertainty.
Dear Student, You see I wasn’t hired to be a perfect teacher, because no such person exists. I was hired to on some days be an actor/actress….never to fake my passion for you, but rather to be someone who leaves their baggage at the door each and every day and never lets the negativity of life affect the positivity of their (her) classroom.
Dear Student, Despite what I might be going through I will act like I am perfectly okay, because you don’t need another person to tell you that life doesn’t get better or that things never look up because you hear that enough already every day….
You need someone to look you in the eyes and tell you it’s going to be okay (even if I might still doubt those words for myself on some days)
Dear student, If I can’t inspire you to be better, to dream bigger, to know more, to ask questions, to seek answers, and to achieve greater than I have failed you. Because this I promise you….I am here not just to teach you, but to instill in you a desire to want something more out of life, to be your biggest cheerleader, to ask you questions, to care about your interests, to know you by name, strength, and need, to make a promise in helping you find your purpose, to never give up on you and to always seek to help you grow.
Dear student, you are my reason!