I can't believe this school year is moving along so quickly! This has been (with a few hitches) one of the best years I've had teaching. I love this group of 8th graders...even the ones who drive me crazy at times. Don't get me wrong, it's not always been easy, but well worth the effort. One VERY ADHD (& not on his meds) kid told me yesterday that I was the only teacher who would "put up" with him. The others just got mad. I told him it was because as much as I want to tie him to his desk and put duct tape over his mouth sometimes (just kidding), I did care about him and his education. I love that I can joke with them and still teach them something. One of my former SPED students came to see me a couple of days ago. He said he was going to see all of his "favorite" teachers to say goodbye because he was leaving school to go to Job Corps. I am so proud of him for what he has accomplished and honored that he considers me one of his favorite teachers. My journey with this particular student was not always smooth and easy, but well worth the effort. I have sat on the floor in the hall and held a 16 year old girl while she cried because she thought she was pregnant (she wasn't) and was afraid to tell her mother. She has graduated now but still calls me "Mom" and comes by to see me from time to time. I think what some of these kids need most of all is someone to give them boundaries. They all know that they can come to me any time for anything and I will be straight with them. I will joke around with them and let them joke back with me, but they learn quickly where the line is between "far enough" and "too far".
Don't get me wrong, I do not have that kind of rapport with all of my students, there are a few who just tolerate me as I do them, because we don't have a choice, and a few that end up having schedules changed because we can't even get to that "tolerate" level, but the ones like the three kids I just talked about are the reason I do what I do and I wouldn't change it for anything!