Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Me, the Teacher You Left Behind

Dear Mr. Principal,

Hi! It's me, the Teacher you left behind. Remember me? Probably not. Did you hear the praise I received from a parent tonight at conferences because I told them, from the heart, that I thought their foster child was awesome? Probably not. Did you know that I am awesome too? You do know that I make a positive difference, don’t you? Probably not. You don’t ask me how I’m doing or what is going on in my life. Did you know I have two children of my own? Well, I do. I enjoy watching them play soccer and football. Oops, sorry to ramble on about my personal life, I know you don’t care. I know because I am the teacher you ignore.

Why do I know you ignore me? Because you pass me in the hall and if I’m lucky, you will say hello. I know it’s all my fault because you told me I don’t have any interpersonal skills. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that I have students who love being in my classroom. I know I’m not supposed to be a good teacher because your unsure if I’m professional or not.

Did you know that it takes a minimum of 28 times of being told something positive to potentially erase a negative? And it only takes ONE time of being told something negative to make a major difference in someone’s life. I know about the word negative because you told me I was negative. Is there anything else about me I should know? I would really like to know me because obviously I don’t. I was for sure I was a positive, happy, talented, team-playing person who has a heart, a mind, a voice who is more than willing to take on challenges, set goals and make the impossible possible. I must be wrong once again. Wow, it appears as if I’m always wrong. I’m sorry, I should listen to you more just because you say so, or you heard so, or do you really know?

I was also told by someone that I matter. Is this true? Should I believe them? Please tell me how to react because IF I do matter, than I need to make a change in my life. I know you think so little of me, and hardly have the time to tell me I don't matter, or do matter, or don't matter. I guess it all depends on what perspective you look at it from. I know I'm responsible for your perspective. I know this because you told me so two years ago.

I really do wish we could work together forever. You have made such an impact on my life. However, I regret to inform you, this is where I must draw the line and stand up for myself.

I am a teacher, a leader, a mother, a friend. I am a person who cares, who is positive and who is always looking to make difference. A gosh darn positive difference! I’m sorry you can’t contribute to my growth anymore, but you chose not to do so from the beginning. You see, I refuse to be the teacher you left behind. I refuse to be the person whom you impose negative feedback on because you don't know better. I have the guts to ‘live life’. I have the guts to stand up for what is right and to move on to brighter horizons. I have the guts and drive to live positively, to believe in myself and others and to seek a leader who cares.

I know this may be quite a shock to you or maybe not, it doesn't really matter anymore; but I’ve always believed in me and known who I am, what I am capable of and what I am not capable of. I am in touch with my weaknesses and have friends, family and peers who constructively support my growth. I have always known I matter, that I am positive, that I have interpersonal skills and that I have the skills to lead others. I don't need you you to tell me who you think I am, because I already know who I am and I am a PERSON WHO MATTERS!

A Teacher Who Won't Be Left Behind.


joyRuN said...

Good for you! At least YOU know that you've made a positive impact on the people/students around you.

Cheryl said...

I love this. Yes you know the impact you leave on a child's life and that is the most important thing. Thank you for being the person you are.

Ms. V. said...

As I said above, I'm sorry you have one like this. I've had many just as you describe.

I might have a tough gig at school, but my boss is one supportive guy.