Sunday, January 24, 2010

That's Why I Do What I Do

I don't know where to begin with this story. I am an art teacher, and I mostly love what I do. I could pass on some of the paperwork, but that's another story. After many nights of prayer, I left the only school system I had ever known and began teaching in a new system three years ago. I knew VERY (2-3) few people and was sick/pregnant with my second baby. My first year there was not great. My second year there was better, but they added a new school to my schedule. This school was not the most outstanding in the parish and had discipline problems I had never had to face, so needless to say, I was scared and reluctant. I was worried for nothing; I had only two students and loved them. They were no trouble, quiet, polite hard workers. This year was a little different; I got three new students. Two of them were good friends from spending so much time together in alternative school. I was scared all over again, but it was again for nothing. Art was what these young men needed to get them motivated. Niether has been suspended this year, and they are making excellent grades. Each has shared a little of their personal lives with me over the past few months. I am dealing with students whose parents are struggling with addictions or even in prison.

I made the brave decision to take all 25 of my students on a field trip. Not quite brave enough for overnight, we left on a charter bus at 5:00 am on the 5 hour drive. About 2.5 hours into the drive, we stopped for a break. When, we boarded the bus the boys said they had something for me, and I couldn't cry. They had bought me a watch, and yes, I cried. There were kids on that bus that have extra and then there were these boys--boys that don't always have parents behind them pushing and certainly don't have anything extra to share. The class of 5 at the school I was initially scared of had pooled their money and bought me a watch, a beautiful gold watch that I will wear until it falls apart! The trip was great. We had to drag them from the aquarium, because they had never experienced anything like that. The 10 hour ride was rough, knowing I had sick babies at home, but I received so many blessings on that trip. I hope I have given all of those kids a wonderful, forever memory.

On a side note, I want to say thank you. I sent out a quick email asking for sponsors. We raised the huge expense of the bus through fundraisers, but that left tickets and meals. The response was unbelievable! My friends sponsored these kids and gave spending money. You know who you are, and I wish you could have experienced them seeing these things for the first time. What an amazing trip!


  1. How Sweet....Just when you don't think you are making an impact on children....Wow...Great story thank you for sharing it.

  2. And before it is over, there will be many more memorable moments. Some of mine involve you!
    Your students are blessed to have you.
    love ya, Gail