Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why do I teach and coach

Now that I have figured out that I am non-existant in the world of blogging I will just write what I want and if people see it so be it.

Why do I teach and coach?  I used to love it, now because of all the other things added into my day I don't feel like I am teaching anymore.  Tech support, trainings, bureaucracy, repairs, stupid questions, etc... take away from me helping my students.  I have 2 strong memories that keep me going on those bad days.

Early on while teaching first grade I had a student who was a foster child who was so far behind and he acted out to get out of work.  It took a while to calm him down but after about 4 months he was on level and acting right.  About 2 weeks after winning student of the month I receive a note from the office.  He has moved with another foster family and is no longer a student in my room.  I cried for about 5 minutes because he was gone and I didn't get to say goodbye.  About 4 days later he came back in to pick up some stuff with the new foster family.  He ran up to me gave me big hug and said he didn't want to go and that he liked my room.  That touched my heart.

While coaching track and field I encountered a young man who marched to the beat of his own drummer.  He was 16 when I got him.  He did chaw and had issues with authority and family.  His father was over in Iraq during the first engagement and he came home sometime in April.  He came out to a practice to see his son for the first time in over a year and all he said to me was "If he gives you any problems you have my permission to beat the shit out of him".  It was a wake up call to me and after that I gave him a little extra attention and emotional support.  In his Sr year, wearing football cleats, he came in top 10 in Javelin and the pride showed in his face.  After he graduated he was diagnosed as bi-polar and had to take meds.  We remained friends for years until one day his sister called me and said that he had been found dead in his closet.  He went off his meds and some of the demons that had haunted him before came back.  I was sad and went to the viewing. I stood in line for an hour catching up with friends and former athletes till I finally got to the family.  I walk up to his mother and she starts to bawl.  She said "You were the only person who saw the true Eddie and gave him a chance to be himself and grow".  I found out later that was the only time she cried all day.  It moves, and scares me, that I can make such an impact into another persons life.

These are the reasons I keep going when it gets bad, like it is now.  I know I can't help everyone, but I know that I do help some people and that is what keeps me going.

I know this is rambling and not well written but this is what I needed today to get through the day.  Sometimes, you have to put yourself first.

1 comment:

  1. What a touching story, Chris!

    It is necessary, sometimes, to reflect on why we do what we do. What's funny is that my 3rd post on my blog was about why I teach! It seems like a natural progression. Once we figure out what makes us tick we can then focus on bettering ourselves.

    Don't worry about who's reading your words. Obviously they are helping you get through the day. Whatever works!