When I first started teaching, I wish someone could’ve given me a toolbox with various things that would come in handy. Even though that wasn’t the case, I had the honor to do that for someone else. I have several friends graduating soon with teaching degrees. The first is my friend Katie. I was able to stock a basket with some of my favorite must-haves as a teacher. It’s a customized first year teacher survival kit, complete with customized clipboard.
Things I included in the survival kit: clipboard, sharpies, dry erase markers, small journal, glue sticks, gum, germ-x, notepad, binder clips, my favorite pens, classroom labels, bandaids, small patterned duct tape, coke, and m&ms.
There’s a part of me that can hardly believe it is May already. Last week I was getting teary-eyed on the way to school thinking about saying goodbye in 12 days. In August, we became a family. I was able to witness kids start believing in themselves, accomplish amazing things, overcome obstacles, grow a tremendous amount. This is by far my favorite part of my job, watching them exceed even their own expectations. After 5 years of teaching (can you believe it?!), you would think it’d get easier. It doesn’t. In some ways it gets harder. I love what I do, even on hard days, and believe me, there are plenty of days I want to pull my hair out. After saying goodbye, I want my students to remember how much I loved and believed in them. I want them to remember how much fun they had in 2nd grade and how much they learned…especially on hard days when they want to give up. I hope they’ll remember how much I cared about who they were and what made them tick. I hope they remember the hugs and the laughter we shared. I hope they remember how much we celebrated, even small victories. I hope they always do the “friday dance” and sing “happy birthday” backwards. More than anything though, I hope they saw Jesus.