Friday, September 2, 2011

Doing the impossible

Hi, my name is Sarah and I was hired to do the impossible. Well.... technically I was hired to teach children with hearing impairments how to listen and to speak (the kids wear hearing aids and no sign language is involved.)

Yep. I'm about at that point where I take stock of the students on my caseload and declare that I'm expected to make miracles happen. I mean, how else am I going to get 5 kindergartners and 3 first graders who are deaf/hard-of-hearing and at least a year behind grade level up to speed? How am I going to get them reading on grade level when half of them don't have the oral language to speak in a complete sentence?

It's easy to get overwhelmed - especially when you add all of the other pressures of teaching into the mix.

It's at times like these where I need to slow down and get back the right perspective. Twenty years down the road, my students are not going to remember if they mastered rhyming words in Kindergarten. They won't remember if they got all caught up by the end of the academic year.

But what they will remember? Me. 

Was I the stressed out teacher who didn't have time to smile? The teacher who gave them an endless stream of worksheet packets? The teacher who often raised her voice in frustration?

Or was I the teacher who showed them I cared? Did I smile and laugh and slow down enough to follow their tangents sometimes? Did I go the extra mile to make a dry curriculum fun and engaging? Did I let them know they were loved?

There's a lot of work to do with these little ones. I need to remember to keep shining my light!

Linking up with Casey today!


  1. Good for you! Teaching is getting harder and harder with stuff pushed down from above, and while you might not be a miracle-worker when it comes to curriculum and grade-level abilities, you can work miracles by showing love and compassion. Keep it up, Sarah!!

  2. Nice post is hard at times to stay focused on being happy when the caseloads and goals become overwhelming...but it is you and your smile and hugs they will remember the most. :-)

  3. You are such a wonderful teacher!!! I don't really recall many of my teachers when I was younger {some I remember the people I had the class with, but not the teachers name} but I do recall my first grade teachers name, not because of what I learned or the such. But because, in the mornings, I was so distraught when my mum dropped me off and left, my teacher would let me sit beside her during story time, or allow me to help her in some small way. It's the little things that will stick with you forever.

    I am sure that the kids in your class will be well taken care of because they have such a wonderful lady, as yourself, as their teacher!!!

    Good luck Sarah!!!!

  4. I can't imagine them not liking you. I just know you're a great teacher!!/MandyCrandell

  5. I can relate. There can be so many things going on at once, that I feel feisty but I need to try not to show it :)

  6. Wow :) I'll be praying for you throughout this school year! Keep on smiling & thanks for the great post!

  7. Awww, you just made me smile and tear up a little.
    You're right, the kids are just going to remember you!! :)
    Good luck!

  8. I am sure you rock it out each day and wave your light like no other!
    love ya!

  9. when i was in college for speech pathology i wanted to do what you do now! work with children who are hard of hearing or deaf. life took me in a different direction but i still think about it every now and then. I'm sure they will remember you :)

  10. i am terrible w/ singing, but i do it anyway. even if that means, making my own lyrics.
    i can tell by your blogs, you are a fun and very committed teacher. i mean, blogging and teaching comes hand in hand. i love meeting teacher bloggers :)

  11. Sarah, I so appreciate what you do. I know it's not easy but I know the kids you teach will learn love and kindness on top of the academics! Thank you for caring about these special children!

  12. That sounds like such an interesting job! I work in a school too, and really enjoy the SEN work. Keep up the good work - it sounds extremely fulfilling :)

  13. Oh Sarah..I know you have got to be a great teacher! Just the fact that you're aware of all of these things..makes you awesome. :)

  14. I bet you are a fabulous teacher. you should share more stories like this :)