Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Teachers In My Life

I have so many teachers that left an impression on me over the years. Some good, some bad, but all memorable. I might not remember all their names but I can clearly see those defining moments.
I remember a math teacher that everyone treated horribly. She was overweight, had more bad hair days than good, and wore polyester pants every day. None of that mattered because she taught me math skills THAT I ACTUALLY USE ALL THE TIME. (Even if we don't like to believe it, we do need math after we leave school.)
I used to get in trouble all the time for talking too much in class. Hard to believe, right? Well one teacher threw chalkboard erasers at me when I wouldn't shut up and pay attention. It wasn't funny at that moment but it makes smile now. Sadly I never learned that lesson.
There were two teachers in junior high that really stuck out. I think it was Ms. Hayes and Mrs. Rodgers. Ms. Hayes always gave us these ridiculous extra credit spelling words. I memorized them every week. I don't think I needed the extra credit, but I wouldn't pass up the challenge. Mrs. Rodgers taught my reading class. I was one of those kids that had to have my own group because I read ahead of my classmates. I also read way too fast for anyone to believe. I was constantly quizzed on the content. They finally gave up and I could check out 5 books at a time from the library.
Mrs. Rodgers caught me eating fruit snacks in class. I was supposed to write out the paragraph from the student handbook 20 times as punishment. I will also supposed to get my mother's signature. I wrote my paragraph and I did a great forgery of my mother's handwriting.
Mrs. Rodgers was also the teacher that pulled me aside to let me know that my great grandmother had died and my family was coming to pick me up from school. I was in 7th grade.
That brings to MomMae. She was my grandmother's mother. She lived in Tennessee. She came up to help out when my siblings and I were little. My other great grandmother would come too. We called her Moomie. I learned so much from these amazing women. Arts and crafts, sewing, baking were just a few of the things I learned at their side. I have a picture of MomMae in my craft area. She is finishing up a handmade bear she made to sell at a craft show. I loved going with her to set up and help. She would sell so many bears in just one day.
I know I get some of my creativity from her. Part of it is my crazy :) I am so happy when I see that Jayson also has that creative spark. Even after she passed away, her gifts are being passed down to my boys.
Both Sammy and Jayson have amazing teachers. I put them in separate classes for Kindergarten this year. Each kinder class has an assistant teacher as well. That means 4 amazing women are with my boys every day. They are thriving at school. Reading, doing great in math,  loving music, art, computers, PE, and Suzuki violin. Their school is the perfect choice for their education.
Me? I always wanted to be a teacher. I would always play school as a child, telling my brother and sister to do their work. I never changed my mind either. I got off track after highschool but I went to college when my oldest started school. I finished my associates degrees and moved on to University. I was on my last year (finally) when I found out I was pregnant with the twins. During school I was working so classes took longer than the traditional 4 years. I worked in accounting and administrative jobs. I picked up part time hours at a daycare. My favorite job and most stressful job though was being a special education assistant teacher. Working with those students could be heartbreaking. Not being able to read, horrible home life, no friends, disabilities that would only frustrate them... some days were so bad.
Last year I was volunteering at the private christian Pre-K that the twins attended. I actually was added to the payroll after Halloween. I loved my job. 16 students  (2 were my boys) and 2 teachers. It was easy and fun. The kids were so sweet. Sadly my depression kicked in after Spring Break. I was a mess by Easter. I had to take a lot of sick days to even off and get back to my normal. 
After that I learned that I need to learn from myself. I need to be quiet and pay attention. I need to track my triggers and calculate when the ups and downs are going to present. I have to teach myself some boundaries and that is a very hard lesson.
This year I am volunteering again. I have no plans to be paid. I  happy to be able to pop in and help out when I am available. If I am not having a good day, I can take that time for me.
What teachers were important in your life? Do you learn from yourself and your past? What did you want to be when you grew up?
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~Courtney