Thursday, August 19, 2010


My first year of teaching was hectic. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I admit it. No clue. College does not prepare you for anything that will happen in a realistic school day. Student behavior, psycho parents, inept administrators, backstabbing teachers, lack of supplies, etc.

Those are just the negative happenings around a school building. There are many, many more positives. The messy little faces that run up to you for hugs at the end of the day. The piles of interesting gifts on your desk around the holidays. A parent that stops by just to tell you that you're her child's favorite teacher.

During my first year of teaching I met a student who did not speak very good English. Her name was Pina. I read her file and discovered that she always came about 2 weeks late into the school year because she was in Italy on holiday. The day she arrived I knew she would be special to me.

Pina stayed with me during recess everyday practicing English and helping me grade papers and clean the classroom. I always tried to encourage her to go outside, but she never wanted to go. She did this the entire school year.

The next year we both changed grades. I was now teaching a higher grade and Pina had made friends over the summer. We still kept in touch all through her schooling. I was there for her communion, her high school graduation, and her college graduation. If you know anything about big Italian celebrations, you are made to feel like family. Plus you don't leave until you are FULL. Mama says so!

Pina was recently married in Italy to the love of her life on August 4, 2010. I was invited to go, but I was sick and could not make the journey. I told her I was there in spirit. Teaching is so much more than just a paycheck.



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