Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Hit with Reality
If you know me as a teacher, you know that I do my very best, and I want my students to receive a great education and enjoy themselves in my class. I have always said that I want to teach the way that I would want someone to teach my child.
Earlier this week, I discovered that we have a student coming to our school that doesn't speak any English and is coming from a country that would be extremely difficult to translate. Selfishly, I was so relieved to find out that this student was not in the grade that I teach. I even texted a teacher in our grade, and I told her that I was so thankful that we wouldn't have this student.
Last year, I had a student who didn't speak any English, and I was so worried about it at the beginning of the year. It turned out to be the highlight of my school year. His progress was absolutely amazing, and by the end of the year we were having full conversations. He pushed me to be a better teacher, and I was so thankful that he was in my class. But you see, he spoke a language that many people speak, and I could easily (or fairly easily) access novels in his native language. So no, my mind didn't think about the joy and excitement that this student brought to the classroom last year when I heard about this new student coming. Because you see, this would be much more difficult than last year.
As I was sitting in the immigration office today, it suddenly hit me. LIKE SUDDENLY! Here I am sitting in the immigration office surrounded by people speaking all different languages. As I hear the different voices lowly murmuring to one another, I look down at my paperwork and think about the fact that I am applying to adopt a child that will not speak English. This child will speak or at least be familiar with the sounds of Amharic. Do you know anyone who speaks Amharic? Probably not.
Suddenly, I thought about my child's teacher.
My heart sank. I was filled with regret for what I had said, and I felt guilt for being so hypocritical. Why am I telling you this? This blog is meant to document all the ups and downs of this process. Though the wait has been tough, I was just telling someone this week how the wait and this process continues to open my eyes, change my perspective, and teach me a little more about myself all the time even the parts I'm not so proud to display.
But what does this mean for you? Well, I guess I would just encourage you to look at a difficult situation from another perspective. I really do think I teach like I would if my kids were sitting in the room, but I forgot to think about my attitude before the kids get there. I know that if that student was in my class, I would do every possible thing I could to help the student progress. It was a good little heart and attitude check though.
One day, my child's teacher is going to get a paper that probably tells them that this is an adopted child from Ethiopia. Kids from places of trauma and hard places can sometimes have challenges that other students don't face. I pray when it's time for my child to go to school that his/her teacher will be slow to make assumptions and complain about extra work that may be needed.
Maybe this post isn't for anyone but me because I can't quite formulate the right words at the moment, so I think I'm going to end it here.
May I always be mindful of others. May I always look at challenges as something new to conquer.
Posted by Jeffrey and Rachel at 3:44 AM