During the last month of school, I had the opportunity to sub in a kindergarten classroom. With the sub shortage, this seems to be happening more frequently. However, I always enjoy the chance to get back in the classroom and interact with the students and since I have an early childhood endorsement, kindergarten is a good fit! While it was only a couple of hours in the room, it certainly brought me right back to my teaching days. One of the first things I realized while subbing is why I never drank coffee while I was teaching. Teachers don’t get a chance to leave the classroom when they need to or for that matter take their eyes off their students. I was regretting my decision of drinking my usual two cups of coffee before the bell rang. As a principal, I may have a lot of issues that come up during the day, but I can always take a bathroom break as needed. Not so for the classroom teacher!
While I truly appreciate all the classroom teachers do on a daily basis and the magic that happens each time a student says, “I get it!“, there is no substitute for getting into the classroom to see them teach and really understand all they do. I wish our parents, community members, and even our legislators could spend some time in classrooms and see how our teachers perform the amazing job of engaging our students and igniting that love of learning all while managing behaviors, wiping tears (and noses) and covering more curriculum than ever before. Better yet, I would like to have folks try their hand at actually teaching for a day rather than watching. I think the appreciation for teachers and the respect they deserve would go through the roof!
While it’s been many years since I’ve had a classroom of my own, I still consider myself a teacher at heart. I also consider all the students in our school “my kids“. However, I never forget that the true heroes are the teachers in the classrooms, inspiring students, modeling a love of learning, and changing the world for the better one student at a time. As a principal, I get to enjoy my morning cup of Joe each morning and take a bathroom break whenever I need it, but I never forget those days before I started drinking coffee and when I had a classroom of my own.
“Coffee is a language in itself.” – Jackie Chan
“To me, the smell of fresh made coffee is one of the greatest inventions.” – Hugh Jackman
“Never trust anyone who doesn’t drink coffee.” – A.J. Lee
Rita Pierson “School Starts at 8:00” (3 minutes)