Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Taking Responsibility

Two years ago when I was observed by an administrator, I received an ineffective mark on a classroom management category due to the behavior and talking out by one particular student.  This student was one of those who made me want to pull my hair out and question my decision to become a teacher and at the same time, reminded me of why I did.

I argued the evaluation, pleaded my case, and reminded my administrator of the progress Dante had made that year due to the interventions I put into place.  I was told that I was ultimately responsible for my students' behavior in my classroom.  Although I disagreed, I accepted it and moved on.

Because I switched grade levels last year, I had the privilege of having Dante as a student again.  I have to admit, this was not something I was looking forward to, but what a joy it was to have him for the second time.  He has made so much progress, and I could see the caring, young man Dante has become.  He has a heart of gold.  And if I ever need anyone to save me or to stick up for me, Dante would be first in line.

When I had Dante read this and asked for
permission to publish this post, he got a little teary-eyed.
This year he is an office cadet and frequently delivers messages to me.  The first day that he came to my room, he stood at my door, smiled, and said, "How is my favorite teacher of all time?"  Then he came in and gave me a hug.  Believe me when I say, he would not have said this two years ago.

Looking back on that evaluation, I know I cannot possibly be responsible for our students' behaviors, but we can be responsible for those relationships.  Those relationships that make a difference.

I am proud to have that ineffective on my evaluation because it reminds me that relationships do matter.  It reminds me of Dante and all the other future students I will have who need someone to believe in them.  I know I gave him all I had, and I believe it has made a difference in his life.

And I will gladly take full responsibility for that.


  1. Great to hear your voice this week and what a story. Dante's smile says it all!

  2. your right mr,s eck when it comes to you ill be the first in line

  3. This is beautiful, Leigh Anne. You are an inspiration for having the courage to care and the bravery to walk away from things outside of our control. I'm so blessed by your writing. Thank you!

  4. Relationships Matter, Leigh Anne! What a positive perspective!