This morning I went to get a TB test. The nurse asked me where I worked and for the first time I got to tell someone (other than my friends) that I’m a middle school English and math teacher. It was a pretty amazing feeling to say those words aloud.
And as I was sitting, waiting to be called back to the room I started feeling a little overwhelmed, am I really doing this (the teaching, not the TB test)? Can I really do this? Then I thought about the kids I taught this summer, two of them just finished the 6th grade and are on a 2nd grade reading level. They are bright, charming boys who worked so hard and showed up every single day of summer school. I made them read aloud, and write in complete sentence. I made them answer questions and then pushed them to tell me why. And they hated it at first, but I remember one day when we were learning about inferences and for the first time everyone’s hands shot up, high in the air to answer the question. They were smiling and almost bursting because they wanted to give the answer, because they knew they knew it. Then, when we were reading aloud, instead of trying to get out of doing it, Willie asked me if he could read next.