I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."

cpabel
cpabel
3239
views

This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

Wow. No child deserves to start their life off this way or live this way. What can I do? How can I help? How can I make a difference?

Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

They may be stronger and more mature than you are as an adult. Be kind. Love one another. Make a difference.


Popular Right Now

16 Types Of Friends You Should Dump Right Now

16 types of friends that it's time to drop for your own self-care.
69464
views

It can be hard to let go of friends, but it's important to take care of yourself and watch out for toxic friendships.




1. That Friend That Can't Do Anything Without Taking Photos

Do you know any people that cannot just enjoy a moment without whipping out their cell phone? How about those people that are always ruining the moment by insisting on taking a selfie? Not every moment needs to be captured on your phone, and chances are this person is constantly taking pictures because they want to impress other people. If it seems like they need to prove to their social media accounts that the two of you hung out, are they really invested in your friendship?


2. That Friend That Can't Stop Texting

These people are actually the worst. Texting is a good way to keep in contact with people, and it's completely okay to casually text when you're with friends. This does become a problem when you're spending time with someone and completely ignore them to text someone else. It's almost like you're not even hanging out with someone if they spend the whole time talking to someone else.


3. That Friend That Only Talks to You For Rides

Sure, you went to high school with them. Sure, you two used to be friends. But now they clearly are not interested hanging out with you, all you do is drive them around. Maybe you should start charging them for gas...


4. That Friend That Constantly Insults You / Is Mean to You

Okay, roasting your friends as a joke can be funny, but it does have its limits. Insulting someone consistently is not friendship, especially if you bring things up that they are insecure about. I feel like people that do this get a lot of excuses made for them, but being mean is not a way to make or keep friends.


5. That Friend That Lies to You

Friendship is based on honesty. Small lies turn into larger lies if you believe them or show someone that you're okay with them lying to you. Lies by omission can become a huge problem in friendships as well; honesty is the best policy. It's better to have no friends than fake friends.


6. That Friend That Talks About You Behind Your Back

If you have a feeling someone is spreading your business, ask someone about it, because they probably are. If one of your friends is talking about others behind their backs, that person is also talking about you behind your back. It's clear that this person is two-faced, and has a habit of dishonesty; don't let that bite you in the ass.


7. That Friend That Doesn't Respect You

If you ask someone not to do something and they do it anyway, they're blatantly disrespecting you. This could be anything, from telling a secret, to posting a photo on Snapchat. If your friend respected you, they'd respect your privacy, your wishes, and your happiness.


8. That Friend That Treats You Like an Option

This title seems really cliche, but when it happens it can be really hurtful. When someone proves to have a certain "hierarchy" of friendship that you fall victim to, try and remove yourself from the situation altogether. If someone is not treating you like a priority, they don't deserve your time.


9. That Friend That Ignores Your Messages

We all know that person who is attached to their phone. When all of a sudden they don't answer their texts, a lot of times we make excuses for them. If you know someone is ignoring your texts, just stop texting them. This person is not worth your time--passive-aggressive BS is never worth your time.


10. That Friend That Never Apologizes / Blames Everything On You

Not apologizing and playing the blame game often go hand-in-hand. People that can't handle being wrong rationalize their actions by blaming their actions on other people. If you have a friend that you happen to get in a fight with and this happens, you should probably end the friendship then and there, as this is a sign of sociopathy. Plus, you'll have to end up apologizing to them if you want to mend the friendship.


11. That Friend That Doesn't Help You When You Need It Most

If something awful happens in your life and you have a friend that refuses to support you, this should be a huge sign that this person is not a true friend. If someone uses the excuse that you're "bringing them down," they "don't know how to help you," or they're "friends with both of you," this person should be kicked to the curb ASAP. A true friend supports you in your time of need and does not leave you all alone.


12. That Friend That is Always Being Negative

We all know someone that is always looking on the negative side of life. People like this are not really fun to be around, and usually having them as close friends is not your best bet. How are they going to support you while going through a hard time? (I am not talking about people with mental health problems--those with mental health problems will know the difference between being negative and being depressed.)


13. That Friend That Comments on Your Appearance

If you have a friend that comments on your makeup, outfit, weight, or anything else that has no bearing on you as a person, THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND. Friends don't care about how you look, and adding rude comments about how you look is one of the best ways to make someone feel like shit. Wear whatever you want to, and if someone says someone, they are not your friend and they are clearly irrelevant.


14. That Friend That is Mean to Other People

You will be judged by those you spend time with, whether you like it or not. If you surround yourself with people who are blatantly mean to others, you will be known as a mean person by association, no matter what kind of person you really are. If you are really a nice person, you may want to drop that friend and find a new group to hang out with.


15. That Friend That Doesn't Support You / Is Jealous of You

This is someone that you're always there for, but they're never there for you, especially when it comes to celebrating your achievements. It may even seem like they're make fun of something that you're proud of until you are not as excited about it anymore. This goes towards how jealous they are--this person is super jealous, it seems, of everything. Maybe it isn't obvious, but disliking people because of their achievements is actually just jealousy rearing it's ugly head. These types of people are important to keep at a distance.


16. That Friend That is Manipulative

You may not even know they are manipulating you, but that is part of the game. They know just what to say / do to get you to do what they want. Most of this happens to be emotional blackmail, because they also know how to get you to tell them your feelings. You may even like this person, but you don't really know if you can trust them, and for good reason. If anyone ever uses something you've done / told them to their advantage, they are blackmailing you--does that really sound like a healthy friendship?



Everyone goes through life falling in and out of relationships, some of which happen to be toxic. It's important not to undermine how challenging it can be to get out of a toxic relationship (whether it's with a romantic partner, friend, family member, etc.), and help people who are going through that process. If you notice something going on, try and talk to the individual that is being taken advantage of. Having sources of support can make all the difference.



"There's no virtue in tolerating toxic behavior."

Cover Image Credit: https://wallpaperscraft.com/download/brunette_profile_person_sad_sight_63885/3840x2160

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

377
views

This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

Related Content

Facebook Comments