Back to School Night

...AKA:  Teachers work from early morn to late night day!  

Google tells me that today is World Teachers' Day...I didn't know there was such a thing.  But apparently there is, so Thank You to all the teachers out there.  The ones that I know and the ones that I don't.  YOU make a difference is so many ways.  You don't get the acclaim or the money but darn it you should!

It's amusing that today is World Teacher Day since last night was Back to School night for our school.  As a parent who gets up around 4:30 in the morning, heading back to school (where I dropped the kid off at 7:30 that morning) at 6:15 at night (because that's the time slotted for Music Parents, matching the early morning Period 0 that the music program encompasses) was no thrill for me. I can't imagine what it must be for you.  You've spent the whole day teaching (and I KNOW the day doesn't start at 8:30 when classes officially start OR end when the last bell rings) and now you've had to come back and deal with parents over a 2+ hour time frame.  (Or did you even ever leave the school today?) Parents who are aimlessly wandering the halls trying to find your classroom.  (Yes, I was the parent saying "Where is room 207?" when I was standing right in front of it.  Thank you to the teacher who calmly, and seemingly without judgement, pointed this out.  This assumed my husband no end, but he wasn't the one up at 4:20 that morning.)  I may have attended this same school XX years ago (I'm NOT putting in the numbers!), but things have changed since then.  Not only have they added on to the building, but what was once a science room is now the art class and the library on the 1st floor is now the media center on the 2nd.   (And did I mention that I get up before five in the morning and don't focus quite so well after dark?  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Last night was the 9th back to school night we have attended.  (Only 4 more to go!  We can celebrate that; teachers can't!)  It was our last one at the middle school.  (How did that happen? I'm still in denial about the fact that my son now towers over me and longing for that fuzzy headed little guy who used to cuddle up with me.)  I also think it was one of the best we have ever attended.  (No, I hadn't been drinking!)

For the most part, my son has always had excellent teachers.  (So I say thank you again to all of you who have guided him through the years.)  This year it seemed like all his teachers were focused on a common theme; which was to take these teens and guide them to next step in life.  No matter what subject they are preparing their students for adulthood.  While they are teaching their subjects, they are also preparing them for what will come next.  I really felt that each teacher was guiding my child so that he could be successful.  Of course they were preparing him for terms papers that are going to be written in high school and algebra, but more importantly they were focused on critical THINKING.  They were encouraging independence and individuality.  I may have been exhausted by the end of the night, but I was also enthused.  I drove home filled with hope and happiness.

Maybe this has always been the norm for 8th grade, but I've never had an 8th grader before so it was new and exciting to me.  (I think it's new and exciting to my son as well; although he would never admit it.) I also don't recall hearing a darned thing about standardized testing, so that might have added to be glee.  (If you've read any of my previous blog posts you know how I feel about CCRAP testing and how teachers should be allowed to teach.  I felt last night as if EDUCATION was actually the focus and not some pointless assessment that tells me nothing I don't already know about my son and certainly does NOT and WILL NOT have any impact on what he does when he is finished with school and succeeding in the real world where there is no standardized ANYTHING.)

So on this World Teacher Day while I want to thank all teachers for the work they do; I'd especially like to thank the teachers I met last night.  Thank you all that you do and for staying last night to give this mom hope and inspiration.


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