I had one of those moments.
One of those moments I’ve had only a handful of times,
since the beginning of last year,
since the start of my career,
since becoming a teacher,
since fulfilling my childhood dream.
During math class, as my students took their Unit 3 Test, and I sat at my desk in the back grading one of the first papers to be handed in, someone tapped his pencil on a desk.
Tap, tap, tap.
Tap, tap, tap.
Pause. I waited to see if the student would stop on his own and our “electric” silence would return to the room.
From my desk in the back, in my quiet, amiable, magical teacher voice – “Whoever is tapping, make sure you’re working so that everyone can concentrate on their own test.” The absentminded tapping had stopped the second my voice entered the space. And as my words floated out into the room, that feeling came to me. The one that makes a smile break out over my face and fills my stomach with that fluttery realization.
These are my kids. This is my classroom. This is real life!
For so long, I dreamed, planned, and worked toward this result. It was never something unattainable and unreachable, never something that I had to be encouraged to not give up on, nothing that I thought might not come true. But how many times had I imagined my OWN classroom, written about my OWN classroom, talked about my OWN classroom.
I remember student teaching and the magic of being a student teacher. I am so lucky to have loved all of my mentor teachers and to have had such supportive placements. Even so, I was still a shy student teacher, who didn’t really have her place in these other classrooms. Even becoming as confident as I did in those rooms and in my roles there, they were never my classrooms.
Now, as I sit at my desk and plan lessons, walk around the room and listen to groups reading, get pulled suddenly into a hug as a student passes by, it sometimes hits me. This is mine! These are the little humans that I get to spend my days with. The people that I have the chance to shape, mold, teach, and learn from.
I stand at the front of the room each day, 22 smiling faces eager to hear what I have to say, eager to share in more experiences together, eager to have their minds opened to new ideas. Most days, it’s my job. It’s what I do, and I never lose sight of the fact that I love it.
But some days,
it’s more than just a sure feeling that I’m doing the right thing,
more than the realization that I am so lucky to be doing what I love,
more than the smiles on their faces.
I have one of those moments.