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I spend my days making a difference in small lives, in small bits, minutes at a time. I always knew I wanted to do this and I can remember back to 2nd grade, being asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, I never hesitated. I knew I wanted to teach, to spend my days with children, helping them learn what they would need to succeed. I have been doing this for 30 years, but realized 20 years ago, that the youngest children in elementary school were the children I felt at home with and I loved spending my days operating at a dramatic level, performing my teacher act complete with props. Puppets, alphabet pointers, counters, games, blocks and books, and a healthy dose of make-believe aid me in my endeavor to pass on the foundation of education, the recognition of letters, numbers, symbols. My students learn life skills, manners, social skills and ABCs. They learn to count and to count on each other. They live with me for 6 hours a day and I have the awesome responsibility of giving them all they will need to succeed. I face obstacles (illness, family trips, doctor and dentist appoints and the threat of a shortened school year) that keep them out of the classroom, parents overcome with their own lives or mistaken in their belief that “it’s only kindergarten” and it not as important as other grades, a government that does not put education first and a school district consumed with financial worries.
With these obstacles, I still must succeed. When Davis Guggenheim’s new movie Waiting for Superman arrives, perhaps it will inspire conversation, or will motivate a movement to save public education from elected officials and from itself. I have hopes, yet daily, I must go to class ready to do my best regardless of these obstacles and needed changes. I spend my days making a difference in small lives, which will one day grow from the nurturing and education I can give them.