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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Journal Entry

Pin It I sit tonight in front of my laptop.

I still have a pile of journals to read, papers to correct, and grades to put online. This is not even beginning to mention what there is still left to do to prepare lessons for a class of 28 students in the morning.

Yet, tonight I write. Why? Because tomorrow (or rather, today) is my day to post, and this is something that I committed to do. Since I made a promise to myself, I plan to follow through unless I am dead, dying, or incapacitated.

As of right now, I am none of these.

I drove into my parking stall around 7:00 tonight and gathered up my various odd and ends. I immediately set about getting as many things done as I could. Yet, despite my best efforts, the pile of ‘have-tos’ and ‘better-get-tos’ all screamed from their varied positions on the kitchen counter, and I found myself inundated up to the eyeballs. All too often I find myself drowning in a sea of work, to which there is no foreseeable end.

Episodes of The X Files were put on hold as I plowed away at the mountains of papers set before me. Finally, I decided that I needed to stop. The clock was rolling past 10:00 and I knew that if I didn’t get a bit of sleep, I’d regret it in the morning and be just about as worthless as the sun above clouds and rainbows at midnight.

Yeah, you get what I’m talking about.

I decided to read over just a few more students' journal entries before stopping for the evening. As I did, I found myself musing over the snapshots of moments and snippets of their lives. I laughed at the antics over the weekend with friends. I smiled as I read over their lists of favorite books to read. I marveled at their family weekend trips. I felt a sense of despondency when I read about the death of a loved grandfather.

One hundred million little insights into their individual lives.

I picked up one journal and commenced reading.

This was a good one to read.

Instead of trying to summarize this boy’s thoughts, I present it here. Just know this…as I read over what he’d written, the hours of extra work seemed worth it. The irate parents I’d dealt with didn’t seem quite so bad. The lack of sleep over the past week seemed not quite so tiring.

This, my friends, is what teaching is all about.






Thanks, Joey.

P.S. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but rather sharing that – more often than not – sometimes the thing we need the most to recharge our batteries is right there in front of us simply disguised as more work.

23 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

its amazing isn't it? and i think being a parent, i would get little surprises like that as well.. either in a drawing they did or that blank card that's filled with their words and not Hallmark's.

Joan said...

I adore when I find those precious gems that remind me what it all comes down to; make a mark on the life of a child.

I love the web he made! So sweet!

Gerb said...

*giving it up for Mr. Z*

Shauna_Rae said...

I find ... "sometimes the thing we need the most to recharge our batteries is right there in front of us simply disguised as more work."... to be SOOOO TRUE!

Sue said...

That had to make you feel like a million bucks. And liked the way your young friend made his points, supported them, and summarized by restating them at the end.

Nice job! (BOTH of you...)

=)

PS. The diagram is priceless!

M-Cat said...

And now, I hope your bucket is full for alittle bit longer!

Love that Joey......love a GREAT teacher!

diane rene said...

WAY COOL! ^5 Mr. Z

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Is the diagram something you teach your kids to do for report writing? I love the line "...become a way good reader..."

Your heart must have been full that night.

novidiac said...

horn tooting earned!!

And I loved the imagery in your line *just about as worthless as the sun above clouds and rainbows at midnight.*

DeNae said...

It absolutely IS why teachers teach. Well earned, well done. Hats off to you, Mr. Z.

T said...

Giving it up for Mr. Z... copy that and frame it for another late evening :)

tammy said...

I agree. You are way hilarious. And awesome.

(And I love how UT people say "way" about everything. It's way funny).

Natasha said...

Giving it up for Mr. Z! And I agree, you are awesome! What a great journal entry.

Mamma has spoken said...

Sounds like a major suck up to me, jk, jk, jk.......
I would have fun conferencing with him on this writing piece and what he would need to improve on his writing: Main idea sentences, three supporting sentences, wrap-up sentence for each paragraph, vocabulary expantion, etc. But in the end he did say it all; it will be an awesome year for BOTH of you....

Make Do and Mend said...

Niiiice. Isn't is amazing how it can totally change your day when a kid throws a compliment your way? I love that. Perhaps my favorite was from a kindergartner who told me I smell nice. Weird, but it made my day.

Cheeseboy said...

Well, you have given me chills. Sometimes I wish I could teach older grades just so they could be more descriptive with their appreciation for me. But I get "I love my teacher" cards all the time and that will have to do.

Your awesome, Mr. Z. I'd love to teach next to you someday.

Marnie said...

I loved reading this. It just makes your day/week/month when something like this happens. I'm not surprised to see this though. You appear to be very dedicated.

High five's to you!

Miss Griffiths said...

Sounds like you're pretty hilarious. (:

Just SO said...

Those moments are the best. I'm glad that "Joey" wrote that for you.

And now I expect you to video yourself reading a book so that we too can enjoy your mad reading skillz.

Bits-n-Pieces said...

Aww!! I love it when my students write about me. Of course, it usually looks like this, "I lik yu. yu ar so prite and nis." :)
Love the web at the top~ nice to see the teaching we do in 1st pays off as they get older!

Jenny said...

These are those special rewards that come from all those late nights and early mornings that you have put in. I am glad you shared.

Richard & Natalie said...

Awww...there's nothing like a good ego stroke and validation that what you're doing is all worth it.

PS- To me, it sounds like you may just be better than Jim Dale. :)

Lori said...

That's awesome.

I think that the presence of that journal entry was not a coincidence, and not happenstance. It was intentional, and by design...there for you when you needed it most.

I love how God does stuff like that. :)

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