In my opinion, teaching is more than just a job. It is who you are. It is in your bones, your spirit, your heart. No matter how much my students fight me on learning, I still keep coming back for more. It is so worth it when they finally get it. When I see the "light bulb" go off, it makes my heart smiles. Sometimes I am more excited about it than them.
These ladies are part of the DHS "Mighty Math Department." I would put up the team of teachers I had when I started there against any math department anywhere. These ladies were more than coworkers; they became my friends. This is from the night where senior football players had their favorite teachers wear their jerseys. I wasn't even working there anymore, but one of my babies requested them to call me and ask me to come and wear his jerseys. This is when you know what you do matters. They don't have to be the perfect student or child, but it still matters that you care and deposited into them. Man, I love reaching the next generation.
These are some of my original babies catching the action from a football game. To this day, they check in with me and make sure they spend some time with me when they are home from break. I never even taught the one on the far right. I think they have given me more than I have even given them. They let us know it is well worth what we do!
These are a couple of pictures from Signing Day at my last school. I can't say enough great things about the coaches for the girl's basketball program. They do so much for the girls that they call them "Our 2 dads." They mentor, teach, counsel, give tough love, feed, transport, and anything else they need. They are constantly exposing them to opportunities and experiences outside of their school and neighborhood. One of the coaches is a community coach and gives his time freely. I mean a lot of time. He will even pop up and sit in classes if any of the girls are cutting up in a class.
The coaches (and now even me since I am part of the coaching staff) can get the girls to open up about almost anything. I am sure we know more stuff about them then their parents. Since we have this awesome responsibility, we make sure we are advising them as we would our own children.
The 2 seniors signing did not have any schools looking at them before the season started. One of the young ladies didn't even play until January due to an ACL injury. Both received full rides to college.
Now, this is my baby boy!!!! I think this kid started calling me "Ma-muh" before he got off of my roster. Once the teachers and staff realized he was one of my extra sons, they did not hesitate to call on me when needed. I was even added as an emergency contact. I use him as an example at the beginning of every semester and throughout the school year when needed. I told them, "If I let my baby boy earn a sit in summer school, what do you think I will let you earn?!"
This collage above is a snapshot of what I meant that our coaches are expanding our children's thinking. We had a state playoff game about 3 hours away. Instead of leaving early the day of the game, we left the evening before the game. Instead of practicing at the school, coach made arrangements for the girls to practice at one of the local colleges. Subconsciously, he was planting the seed for them to play on the next level which means going to college. For some, they hadn't thought about what's next after high school. Again, planting seeds! Now we are watering, pruning, and growing our little flowers for the next phase of their lives.
And at the end of the day, I just want them to be Super Stars in their lives.