Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Dreamed A Little Dream...

and today I watched it die.

I am a freshman teacher.  I started this job as a lowly substitute and worked my way up to a full-fledged, first year teacher complete with my semi-own classroom.  I say semi-owned because I co-teach with another person who ~trust me on this one~ will occupy SEVERAL chapters in the book I am going to write about this when I retire.  (I still have to see if they will publish a memoir with a chapter called "Why I almost lost my teaching certification by killing my co-teacher in the first six weeks".)  But I digress. 

I entered this field with a dream: The dream that I would change the life of every student I taught.  That I would inspire in him/her maybe not a desire to learn, but at least a desire to be more than they dared to dream for themselves.  I would make a difference.  I had dreams of seeing my students years after they would leave my middle school classroom and they would have become more than the "punk-kid" who got sent to an alternative school.  Doctors. Lawyers.  Architects.  Analysts.  Writers.  Whatever they could conceive (other than a baby at age 14); they could be.  

I talked about my dream to any teacher who would listen.  And I was warned.  Veteran teachers told me it could not be done.  That I would learn that there are some kids you just can not get through to or teach.  They said my heart would break if I got personally involved.  They would sigh and get a knowing, sad smile on their face as they suffered my foolish fantasies.  Like an old man who can still remember when he was young and thinks to himself of a youth so long ago.  Still I talked and dreamed...

Today I sat in the restroom and cried.  I realized my dream was dying right in front of my eyes... and death wears the face of my very first student.  The pupil who was to be my defining accomplishment.  My pride.  My proof to the pedagogical society that ALL students could be reached and taught.  He was to become more than the gang he so desperately wants to join.  Somewhere deep inside I knew I was going to have to learn this lesson, but I had hoped it would be later.  Not now.  Not with the first child to sit in my classroom.  Not with angelic face of a child who carries the emotional scars of an abused 50 year old.

But I will not give in.  I will not allow my dream to go quietly into this good night.  I will fight.  If not for him, for the ones that will come after him and the ones that will go on to win the good fight.  I will go on so that one day, if only for one student, I will have made a difference.


10 comments:

Vanessa said...

I am so sorry. Watching our dreams die is never easy. When it involves the potential of a child, it's even sadder. HUGS Don't give up, you will make a difference to more than you will know.

Ainsley said...

I am so sorry sweety. Let me know if there is anything I can do...

Chemgeek said...

Hang in there. Your dream isn't dead. It just needs to be modified. You've got what I consider one of the toughest jobs in the world and one of the most important. Don't expect instant gratification (or even relatively fast gratification) but realize what you do will affect lives significantly. Unfortunately, you will probably never witness the results.

And that's all very easy for me to say. I'm not in your shoes. Good luck.

DG said...

I'm about to cry with you, sweetie. You know what you need? A pitcher of margaritas, heavy on the tequila. That's what you need.

Until you get that much-needed drink, don't lose hope. You will make a difference. Maybe not at the level you thought you could, but you WILL make a difference. Any time a teacher cares and goes above and beyond the call of duty, the student remembers. He/She may not show it now, but someday they will remember.

Keep your chin up. You are a true hero, I think!

McGone said...

Take heart in the fact that you made me look up the word "pedagogical." I learned something today because of you.

In all seriousness, hang in there. It's the challenges that remind you why you're doing all of this in the first place.

LarryLilly said...

I hope you survive Dr Hinojosa's major budget F-up at DISD.

Anonymous said...

A Sweetie...NOT

You are a teacher, act like one. Using such profanity on a blog is unprofessional and an insult to the teaching profession that you represent.

Would you let your students read this profanity filled blog? You are more gutter mouth than my ex-soldiers. Respect is earned, not given freely.

Apparently, you are still stuck in the world of self-indulgent "Sorority Slut", partying, drunkinness, and smoking frat boy cock.

Grown up and represent your teaching profession with the professional image of an adult.

Anonymous said...

Dear "Anonymous" - AKA Idiot Ex that can't take "no" for an answer:

Get a life, Smegma Breath, and leave this girl alone or I'm calling the cops on you. Can you say "stalker"? Or "harassment"? I can, and so can any lawyer. And then you'll be learning to say "restraining order".

Oh, by the way, your last sentence should have started out "Grow up... " NOT "Grown up... ". Idiot...

What a pity you didn't have a caring teacher like this one when you were in school. (You did graduate, didn't you?) Maybe then you would know how to spell, which verb tense to use when, and WHAT WORDS/PHRASES LIKE "NO" AND "GO AWAY" AND "LEAVE ME ALONE" MEAN!!

Idiot...

Anonymous said...

Dear "Anonymous:

It is obvious that you did not read her blog. This post had not profanity and the "profanity" that she does write is tame compared to what people hear daily. My son uses words that are more offensive that what I have read here.
My suggestion to you is to not read her blog if you find it so "profanity laced"

As for respect - I doubt your soldiers (ex or otherwise) had any for you - you judgement ass.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mean Anonymous,

You really need to find a hobby that doesn't involve harassing others. What a loser you are! Nobody forced you to read this blog; it was your choice. If you don't like what you see, don't come back! There is far worse profanity on prime-time television that school children have the opportunity to hear daily, so I don't really see what the problem is here. This is the world we live in today - deal with it.

With regards to the two Anonymous replies to your asinine comments: I couldn't agree with you more! Bravo!!

As if anyone could actually have any respect for a putz like you...