Monday, November 9, 2015

This is Why We Teach

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place to share our Slice of Life.  Read more slices or add you own here.

That first year of teaching.  I am sure many of you remember it well, and some of you may have tried to forget.  My daughter is currently living it.  I have not written much about her lately because it has been hard.

It has been hard to see her struggle.  It has been hard to see her frustrated.  It has been hard to see her doubt.

Megan's third grade class is one that stretches a teacher thin, especially a new teacher.  She has one particular student who is especially challenging.  Megan has spent much time and energy putting interventions into place in order to help "J" function in a classroom.  Megan has a special education license too, and she certainly has a heart for these students.

Megan comes from a home with two parents who love each other and love her.  She comes from a home with boundaries and rules.  She comes from a home that values and demands respect.  She comes from a home filled with laughter and good memories.

Many of her students do not.  Students like "J."  

A few weeks ago, Megan came home after a trying day with "J" and said, "Mom, she just wants to be loved."

I replied, "And that is why you need to find it in your heart to love her every single day, no matter how difficult it may be."

Friday, Megan shared with me a letter written by "J." 

My original post had a picture of the letter, but I have chosen to take that out.  This letter was written to Megan, and I want to keep it private.  But I do want to share some lines because they are reminders of why we do what we do.  And I know Megan is hanging on to these precious words to help her get through this first year.

You Are the Best of All

This is why I love you. 

And I never want to leave you because you care and love me.  

I know I'm bad but it does not make me hate you. 

Because you never give up on me and I know you never will.  

You are in the middle of my heart. 

This is why we teach.


  1. Kids like "J" stay in our hearts and minds forever. You are right, this is why we teach. Each child matters and deserves a champion like your daughter. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You had me at "Mom, she just wants to be loved." I'm still crying. Hold on Megan, it's a rough ride at times, but the pay is possible and worth it!
    Thank you Leigh Anne for the beautiful post.

  3. Courage, strength and hugs to all the fresh young teachers out there. I think as teachers, we all carry certain students in our hearts forever. Your daughter sounds like a fabulous teacher. She is lucky to have the knowing support of her family. "J" is so lucky to have her...and her life may be forever changed for the better because their paths have crossed.

  4. Amazing post and so true. Thank you for sharing this moment with others. Great reminder about why we're in education to begin with.

  5. So happy to hear that Megan is having moments like this. I would say that she may have had a tough beginning, but to receive this in the first part of school is wonderful. The first thing I've told new teachers is that the students want to be loved, and how that happens is up to them, but they need to make it true. Go, Megan! Thanks for sharing this, Leigh Anne, know you're proud, too.

  6. How special for Megan! Those words will live in her heart through many challenging children. She will survive this year and be stronger because of all the challenges. You have a special daughter. Of course her mom is pretty special too! I hope we get to meet her at All Write. :-)

  7. Ahs, the struggles and wonders of teaching are revealed in your post today, Leigh Anne. All the best wishes for a good first year of teaching for your daughter.

  8. I remember a mentor telling me that I needed to love all my students even if I didn't always like them, I needed to love them. She clearly has given this love to her students. How special for her to get that note and realize the impact she is having on this girl's life. Thank you for sharing and inspiring all of us!
    Clare and Tammy

  9. "You are in the middle of my heart." That's a line that will always live in Megan's heart. The first year is so challenging, but what a gift J has given her - words to buoy her up on the tough days. And what a gift Megan has given J - to know that she is cared and loved, even when she's bad.