From a student teacher to her mother . . .
I wanted to call you earlier, but after work, dinner, homework, shower . . . will, it just didn’t happen. So, I decided that I could e-mail you just as well, and that this might be a nice thing to read at work first thing.
I came to realize today how blessed I truly am that you are my Momma. I’ve sat in on several parent meetings at the school. . . parents who make excuses for their kids, parents who blame the teachers for their kids not bringing home progress sheets and things, parents who just don’t care if their kid fails, parents who do nothing when the kid gets in trouble at school or doesn’t do his/her homework. I can’t imagine getting away with some of the things my students get away with. And I realized today (when one parent straight up lied about getting progress sheets when Mrs. Durbin called her to tell her that her son is currently going to fail the project they are working on – the first big grade of the nine weeks – and then the mother didn’t care if her son failed or not) that my fear of what would happen at home if I didn’t do my homework or I acted out in school kept me a good student and gave me a reason to try.
I was observed today by my supervisor as I taught the ACE math class. One of the things she loved about my teaching style is that I wouldn’t just tell them the answer. I made them figure it out. She said she didn’t know if that was mine or if that was Mrs. Durbin’s style and I copied it, but she liked it. Mrs. Durbin confessed that it actually was difficult for her not to just tell them the answer. I said it was the way I was raised. That’s how you helped me on my homework. That’s how you answered most of my questions, you didn’t tell me, you helped me figure it out.
Last week we were working with fractions and decimals and I couldn’t believe how many students just couldn’t get it. I pulled those that didn’t try and those that tried hard but obviously didn’t get it aside last week and retaught the lesson. Most of them get it now . . . they understand how to move the decimal so it’s in the right place to divide and therefore in the right place in their answer. Most of them can’t divide. They have no idea how to do long division. When they do understand the process they have no idea what their multiplication tables are. Every time they write down #+#+# until they do get to the value they need . . . then they go back and count. They do that for 3 times tables. Even 2x a number below ten they skip count with their fingers. By seventh grade they should just KNOW these things, but they’ve become so calculator dependent. I told the other teachers that you wouldn’t let us use calculators at home. They commended you :o)
I suppose most of this letter is pretty down . . . that’s not how I intended it. The purpose of this letter . . . and I’m nearly in tears of love and appreciation as I write it, is to thank you. Thank you for being a wonderful Momma!!! Thank you for helping become the teacher I am, helpimg me know that you have to figure it out to learn it, ingraining it into my system that you ask questions to get to the answer and teaching me perseverance through never giving up yourself. Thank you for everytime you helped me on my homework and your patience for when I was screaming at you over it. Thank you for making me lay out my clothes when I was little so last week when my alarm apparently didn’t get turned on, I wasn’t late because I had it all laid out and ready.
I’m running out fo words, but there’s a lot more I want to say . . . I love you Momma. Thank you!!!!
I hope you have a good day today, you definitely deserve a better than great one!!