Monday, May 5, 2008

You're The Inspiration

Last week I received a call from one of the teachers at school. I thought maybe she was calling to express her extreme sadness over my decision to remain home with J. Or, maybe she had some juicy gossip to share (it runs rampart in my old stomping grounds). Nope on both accounts.

She called to tell me that a student had chosen to honor me at a banquet later this month. I inspired this student. The student looked up to me. I made a difference in his/her life. Wow.

I haven't been in the classroom in nearly a year.

I thought "out of sight, out of mind." Apparently not.

I don't know who the student is. They like it to be a surprise.

I started thinking about last year, the last year I taught. What could I have done to inspire this student so much that he/she chose me?

Let's see . . .

I made them write. A lot. And read. A lot. I'm an English teacher so it sorta goes along with the territory.

I listened to their stories. I told them some of mine.

I asked about their lives. I asked them about their plans for the future.

I went to their games. I attended some of their concerts. I showed up at their work (not knowing they would be there). I was around . . .

I told them they could be whatever they wanted to be . . . as long as they were willing to work hard, believe in themselves, and be true to who they are.

Respect. I told them to give it and to earn it. It is a rare commodity . . .

We laughed. They laughed at me, their roly poly little English teacher who at times could barely keep her eyes open or food out of her mouth. They were there the first time little J decided to make his presence known. They were in awe. So was I. We shared a moment.

I remember saying, "I really want you to do well." A student replied, "You actually mean that, don't you." Yes . . . I do.

I am flattered. I am humbled. I am continually amazed that I could do this . . . make a difference.
That means they were listening. They were watching. Watching and listening . . . oh, my.

Now with J I think about all I do. What I say. How I act. We've already discussed how I won't be perfect. It just won't happen. It wouldn't be any fun anyhow.

That means he'll watch me when I cook and clean. Or when I don't. He'll listen to my stories of first loves and my youthful misadventures. He'll see me make a fool of myself (he can add that to the times I've already made a fool of myself). He'll stare at me when I clearly don't have a clue. He'll see that I am uncoordinated and clumsy. He'll know I can be a slob. He'll laugh when he watches me lose my keys for the bazillionth time. He'll clearly gaze disapprovingly at my fashion sense, taste in books/movies/music. He'll NOT laugh at my super corny jokes (that are seriously much funnier when I remember how they actually went).

Look up to me? Be inspired by me? Me, make a difference?

Poor J . . . he doesn't have a chance.

Or maybe, just maybe . . . he does.

* * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * *

For all you who are or will one day be the "inspiration"--I dedicate this to you. We are SOOO in trouble . . .




An 80s tune. You knew it was coming.

*My 100th post is coming up. Really? Shouldn't we just count the non-craptastic posts? That would be . . . like 3. Yes. I meant to make this announcement really, really tiny. Maybe you won't notice it. Do you? Then you have really good vision 'cause I can barely see it and I'm typing it.

68 comments:

Rachel H. said...

Am I really the first?? YEAH! I hoped I would be!

YOU DESERVE THAT AWARD! TOTALLY DESERVE IT! Just in reading your blog and the comments you've written on mine, I have found a friend in someone I have never technically met. I look so forward to your bits of wisdom, you wonderful writing, and all the life lessons you are sharing.

YOU ARE INSPIRATIONAL!

And I can't thank you enough!! Your little guy has someone SO amazing to look up to, to watch through life, and to learn from. I have a feeling he won't be disappointed.

So hooray for you! And hooray on the accomplishments in your life, and for the people whose lives you have touched. I hope you know they extend FAR beyond the classroom!

madamspud169 said...

You must be feeling so happy, it's like a validation somehow, acknowledgement that you did a good job, that you have made a difference to someones life. Perhaps even given someone a love of learning.

I did really well at school up until the school employed a different teacher. This woman was so uncaring & spiteful that my grades went from A's to D's and my confidence & even my liking of myself became so shattered that I was in my 30's before I got over it.
Well done you.

Smart A$$ Mom said...

I see your avatar everywhere and am finally swinging by. Thanks for the read.

And congrats on being an inspiration!

Smart A$$ Mom said...

I see your avatar everywhere and am finally swinging by. Thanks for the read.

And congrats on being an inspiration!

RJTrue said...

About you being an inspiration ... one word:

Duh!

Love you sis!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

That is so GREAT! I had an English teacher who was definitely one of the best. I was so thrilled when he found my blog and left a comment! Wow!

I can't wait to hear about the banquet.

Marmarbug said...

Aw! This made me tear up a bit. Teachers CAN AND DO make a difference. I have a few I still remember fondly.
CONGRATS!!!!

Pregnantly Plump said...

Congratulations!! That is so wonderful. When is the banquet, so you can find out who honored you?

Misty said...

Can't think of some one who deserves it more.

And..... by the way... totally singing along now...

Steph said...

My hat goes off to you, clearly you are an exceptional teacher and I can't wait to her how the banquet turns out!

cyndy said...

Love that song........
Wow, I think it's wonderful that you are being recognized like that. You should be so proud!
PS...I saw the announcement! HA!

Pam said...

Congratulations! That is awesome. There is no better feeling as a teacher then knowing you played a part in someone's life. It is harder to see with the younger students that I teach - but I try to remind myself that I play a role in their futures (unless they end up in jail...then I deny being their teacher...ha ha ha!) Anyway- congrats...and that is wonderful news!

Mommy Mechanics said...

Yay! Thats exciting. Congratulations!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I wanna be you when I grow up and finish teacher school and get my own classsroom.

What you just described is what a teacher should be.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

It's wonderful to be honored by a student like that! Good for you. With such a crappy salary and the majority of the kids not loving your subject, it's so great to know you've made a difference to at least one of them.

I still keep in contact with one of mine from my first year. He's in college now. And, almost went to the hubby's alma mater....imagine drinking at a tail gater with a student. That was a SCARY thought.

Stella said...

Wow! That's so wonderful that you're being honored!! You absolutely deserve it!!

Momo Fali said...

Well, you've gone and done it. I've been wanting to think my high school English teacher for 20 years and never have. Now I have to go hunt him down.

Momo Fali said...

Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS!!

Lori said...

how cool is that... to know you really made a difference and that they listened and understood what you were saying not just what you had to teach, but what you also choose to teach!

Kami said...

This post brought tears to my eyes because how you describe the teacher you are?

OUTSTANDING!

You deserve this honour of that I am certain.

Oh and I hate you a little bit for the song. I started singing it right after I read the post. I'll be singing it all day, how's that for a legacy?

Kidding! I could never hate you but the song will drive me batty and maybe my kids even more so. I really CANNOT sing.

Happy 100 post coming up!

Kimmylyn said...

YIPEEE!!!
That is GREAT GREAT news.. what an award to get.. that is amazing.. you must be soo proud!!

You should be walking on cloud nine .. validation and acknowledgement !!

Congrats!!

jakelliesmom said...

How truly wonderful for you. You'll never know how many others you've impacted who might not have had the opportunity to recognize you. Enjoy the moment!

(And 100 posts - good for you, and good for all of us!)

Melinda Zook said...

That is so wonderful. You really must have made a difference and that is something to be so proud of! Congrats on being the inspiration!

tommie said...

First, now I have cheese ball song in my head...so this afternoon when I feel the need to rat my hair as big as I can, then spray it with Aqua Net, I will be thanking you! LOL

Congrats on the award...you do deserve it. I can see why a student was challenged and encouraged by you! You rock!

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Ok, in high school I bought my friend this set of 80's hits and we would totally play that song over and over, and sing it very loudly!! LOL...good times:)

Awesome about that award! Yay for you!!

noble pig said...

Wow. It is a huge honor when a child recognizes your efforts becuase there are no strings attached and its real. Congrats, I'm sure you really deserve it.

MamaGeek said...

WOOT WOOT! Congratulations - how cool is THAT! V-E-R-Y!

Blessings From Above said...

Congratulations! I am so excited for you. And what an appropriate song to go along with your accomplishment!

I remember couple skating at the local roller rink to that Chicago song when I was 12. Ohhh, the memories...

CC said...

So cool!! I hope, hope, hope, hope one day one of my students (or parents) will say this about me. Maybe.

krissy said...

This by no means surprises me. You are very deserving of this award. Your priceless.

Congrats to you...your such a go-getter. I'm such a slacker!!!

Proud of ya!

just jamie said...

I love that you're being honored, and I love that it's anonymous ... so far. I also love to think of the things I have said, or didn't say to my students. How will i be remembered? Clearly, you have made an impact in a big way. Congratulations. Now, you better practice your Academy Award speech. :)

Elaine A. said...

Wow, Congrats! This is so cool. You will have to let us know who it is once you get your "honor."

My English teachers were always some of the best too (of course I also LOVED the subject...) and I remember all of them to this day. I commend you, for both being a teacher and an inspiration.

Nap Warden said...

Congrats on being an inspiration. Now that song is going to rattle around in my head the rest of the day:P

Did you get my email on possible rework?

BusyDad said...

It was in my head before I scrolled to the video. I knew what that song would be. I didn't want to hear that song and get it stuck deeper into my head. I clicked anyway. Why do we do such things??

Aside from that, this post in itself was inspirational! It is so nice to know that you made a difference in someone's life, when you didn't even know it. It's always nicer when you are recognized for just being you.

The Immoral Matriarch said...

Ok. DUH!! You didn't know you were?

Danielle said...

That is so exciting. If I were you I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about who it might be. As a teacher-knowing you made a difference in the life of a child makes it all worth it.

McMommy said...

YOU'RE THE MEANING IN MY LIFE....YOU'RE THE INSPIRATIONNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!

Nice work! That is going to be a wonderful moment when they reveal the student to you!

huddtoo said...

WOW!! Congratulations! I am sure you completely deserve it..no, I know you do. You could be shocked.. sometimes you can do something very small and it makes a huge difference in someone else's life!

You will be a great teacher to J as well. Even if it is vacuuming. ;) I am sure you will teach him many other things too. Kids are sponges, they soak up so much!

Lori said...

Oh wow! THat is awesome!!! As a teacher, I know how humbling it is to receive an award FROM A STUDENT!!! Those are truly the best rewards!! I got a teared up for you - way to go! I have no doubt from your posts and comments that you deserve this!!

Kathryn said...

Wow! What an honor! But honestly, I can't say I'm surprised. From reading your posts and comments it is clear to see you are a very inspirational person.
Congratulations!

Kristi said...

How exciting to feel that you've made that kind of difference. I can tell just from your comments on my blog that you are a compassionate and inspiring person. I often wonder if anything I do when I am teaching is ever making a difference in any of my students' lives. I am so glad that you got an opportunity for extra validation. We all need that sometimes. Thanks for sharing your excitement with the blog world.

ConverseMomma said...

You really do deserve that award. How awesome. I googled myself the other day, don't tell anyone I do that, k, anyway, there was a myspace hit. Turns out a student I once had, has me on her myspace as one of her heros. I melted. It makes the job so worth while. Congrats, again. You rockstar!!!

the MomBabe said...

Congrats!

And I think you can claim you just had a baby for a solid 18 months.... besides, it takes like 3 years for your body to fully recover... I'm just saying.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Wow, I am so extremely excited for you girl! If you teach anything like how you mother and befriend than you deserve many, many accolades. I can't wait to hear all about the ceremony. Congrats!

Elaine A. said...

I am back, just to let you know that I tagged you for a little meme. Let me know if you decide to post it! : )

Are You Serious! said...

♡ What an honor! It must feel good to know that you've touched so many kids lives!

Huckdoll said...

The comment above me took the words right out of my mouth but, what an honour! (kay, spelled the Canadian way, so different I guess)

From your description you sound like an amazing teacher and I'm sure you're holding back, too - we all do it :) Way to go, LaskiGal!!

Nissa said...

Congratulations!! That's so awesome & flattering! Especially since you've been away for a while!
J will be lucky to have such a wonderful teacher mommy!

Hugs!

I'm emailing you- you won my little giveaway!

Angela said...

Can't wait to hear all about the ceremony! What an honor!!

girlymom said...

Congratulations on the award and the recognition. I salute you as well. I truly admire teachers. It is a job that is often overlooked, under appreciated. Your little guy is lucky to have you. His student:teacher ratio is amazingly a 1:1 ratio! Can't get any better than that.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Da-doo-run-run or da-doo-rag-rag...they both work, right?

Hallie :)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Btw, I finally added your awesome blog to my blogroll!! I love it so much I wanted to share it!!

Hallie :)

gina said...

Followed your comment from on The Upside. I've enjoyed reading some of your posts. I will be sure to stop by again.
ps. Congratulations.

JO-N said...

I do believe you can make a difference and I do believe you can inspire someone. J would be lucky to have you as a mother and I'm very sure he would be inspired by you one day. We never know what a simple gesture or a simple word can do and the effects they would bring.

Kellan said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I come from a long line of teachers - I'm so glad to hear that you are being reconized for making a difference in some child's life - WOW!!

Have a good day - Kellan

Lori said...

check out my blog... I tagged you for a meme!

painted maypole said...

hooray for you.

i heard that song on the radio just hte other day. it always makes me think of a couple of my high school friends.

Lisa said...

Kudos to you! That is so, so neat. You sound like you are the most wonderful teacher - I sure hope my girls end up with teachers like you :) In a profession where the reward is definitely not in the paycheck, how great that you're getting rewarded with something that means even more.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Congratulations! What an amazing confirmation of your incredible influence and inspiration!! Have a great one!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

abby p said...

Hey. If this doesn't tell you that you did a great job as a teacher, I don't know what will!

I know how you are, so this does not surprise me. At all.

That school is going to miss you.

Lindsey said...

I love what your sister had to say....she is a nut:)

I do think you deserve this honor. You should totally be recognized:) Good for you! I'm truly so excited for you. I hope you capture it all with pictures (and show us). I want to celebrate with you:)

Lindsey said...

It's truly what all teachers yearn for....knowing that somehow, someway, to someone, we made a difference.

HRH said...

That is so great. What fun it will be to see who it is.

What a lucky boy you have to be inspired by you!

Oh, and I could sing that song in my sleep and get all the words correctly...yep!

Wendi said...

What an honor!
I love that they are keeping you in suspense about who the student is.
I bet it will be someone you least expect.
I have only been reading your blog for a few days now... and I can already tell that you are an inspiration and are most deserving of the award!

Colleen said...

wow...that is amazing and so incredibly gratifying. I can only imagine what that must feel like!

me, on the otherhand, only seem to inspire impatient sighs from my husband. ;)

also, I was totally singing that song when I first saw your post title...I luuuuuurrrrvvveee me some Chicago!

Karen MEG said...

That's a wonderful award; but I can tell through your writing that you would truly be an inspiration. You know, nowadays when it's so easy to be cynical about young people, it must be over-the-top gratifying to know that you've made a difference in a young person's life. To be an inspiration no less!!!

And thanks for the music...haven't heard that song in a while, and it's a good one!

And 100 posts coming up ... that's a big milestone too ;)

Sue said...

Congratulations! That is so cool! I would have to owe part of my love of writing to one of my high school english teachers! Have fun at the banquet!!!!

Caroline's Mom said...

that is incredible! congrats to you for this honor. as a fellow teacher, it is amazing to hear that your students actually DO listen to you! I can't wait to read how this goes!

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