I know my title is misleading, most things I say are. I’m not talking about teachers that just so happen to be our parents as well; I’m talking about teachers who can sometimes step in during classroom time and be a parent-like figure. If maybe something is happening at home with a student and the teacher is picking up on it, or if a student confides in a teacher, or if a teacher is able to comfort their students like a parent would… Is that okay? Maybe I’m being too vague, or maybe this subject isn’t necessary to talk about. I want to one day teach elementary students and I feel like at that age, emotions are bound to make their way into the classroom and I’m curious as to what that line is… if there is one. Maybe it’s a case-by-case thing. I’m writing my next genre paper on a teacher of mine… i know im not a fan of the whole talking about star teachers and what not, but she was different, she wasn’t just a star teacher… she was much more than that and I hope to one day thank her for so much.
She was my third grade teacher and in April, a boy named Andy in our class was killed. His dad murdered the whole family; his mom and two younger twin sisters, and then committed suicide. When you’re that young, you don’t even understand death, you only know you’ll never see them again. School continued the week he died (which was stupid that school was still continuing) so my teacher canceled class plans and focused mainly on how to help us all through such a tragedy. Andy was my best friend, and for many others, he was the greatest play date a child could ask for. No one knew how to handle 15 8 year olds who were dealing with a loss unknown, but she did. I remember one day, she just let us all bring in blankets and pillows and sit and read books, color, and trade stickers all day. Another day she sat on the floor of the classroom and let us all hold hands and group up next to each other and let us just cry. Some days we did homework from the night before, but most days we watched movies and ate goodies that she made. School became a safe place, her classroom, her presence became a home that i’ll never have again.
Some parents had an issue with what she was doing, made a fuss about how she handled the given situation… saying that was too far for a teacher. Looking back, that’s who I want to be like, she made an impact far beyond inspiring me to be a teacher of english, she inspired me to be that safe place, to create a home away from home, a comfort other than dads lap, moms butterfly kiss, or the new borns blanket. I guess I just want to be so much more than a teacher, but maybe I can’t, maybe it is too far?
What’s the line? When do we step in, and when do we step back? Maybe I don’t really care what nyone else thinks… but I kind of do. Food for thought is all it really is.