After blogging for a few months I am delighted to have met Michelle Malone, a fellow blogger, and WordPress, Writing classmate. She writes with such candor and sincerity, I began following her blog immediately. While I didn’t initially notice Michelle is a Middle School Assistant Principal, I immediately noticed an innate wisdom about her writing.
Among many of her sensitive, enlightening posts, her recent Fear of the Unknown story especially piqued my interest.
I’m a grandmother, a freelance writer and a very humble blogger, but teaching is not one of my gifts. This revelation came to me after volunteering as a teacher’s aide in a private parochial school, and then getting to know a few teachers personally. Therefore I have the utmost respect for educators.
Fortunately for us all, my son’s remedial reading teacher changed his scholastic course. I think of Michelle often when conversing with my now grown son. Because of a single one teacher his academic career turned around that year and he went on with the rest of his class.
This year, in Fear of the Unknown, Michelle writes in eloquent detail about the “Start of the Beginning.” She describes it as “a joint professional development day between our two schools. It was my sneaky way of getting our teachers to connect and build what I hope will be a lasting partnership with teachers in our feeder system.”
In Michelle’s words:
“My greatest struggles and greatest joys are centered around relationships — the desire to build and refine them, but also to repair and resuscitate those in peril. I have not ended any (in my recollection); instead I have tried to repurpose a few for the sake of a peaceful mind and a desire to live a life of exclusivity.”
“In my current role, I primarily work with teachers, students, and parents. Though my response to various issues today differs from my response to some of the same issues over 20 years ago, I’ve noticed that the problems are essentially the same. Parents do their best to raise respectful children, and they send us their best to nurture and to grow little people into big people who will one day rule the world we live in.”
“One of the myriad challenges we face, however, is a world that values professional athletes more than educators. When was the last time you stood in line to buy your favorite teacher’s jersey or watched new teachers get drafted on national TV? The answer is NEVER. We don’t need that kind of pomp and circumstance, but we do need to be recognized and regarded as sowers who plant and nurture seeds each year that have the potential to grow into scientists, attorneys, prima ballerinas, designers, and our course — teachers. We need more teachers to continue sowing seeds so that there is never a fallow period in education.”
“I love it when my former students find me on Facebook and tell me what a difference I’ve made in their lives. That’s the reward for the sacrifices, the late night grading, and the second job to make ends meet.”
“I’m humbled when a parent says thank you for “doing what’s best for kids” when she knows that her kid didn’t always do his best. That’s the reward for foul language, temper tantrums, back-to-school nights, and after school help.”
“I’m honored when my former charges become teachers too. That’s the reward for being a role model (whether I wanted to or not), planning field trips, and selling tons of World’s Famous Chocolates to fund those trips.”
“Ultimately, I’m grateful for the chance to make a small difference in the lives of others and to wake up each day and be granted that opportunity once again.”
In my experience, dedicated, committed people like Michelle and my sons’ teachers change lives in positively unforgettable ways.
Michelle and I are both new to blogging, and we fearlessly put ourselves and our stories out there in the hope of lifting, encouraging others.
About blogging, Michelle says:
“When I started blogging on All Saints Day, I never expected to meet a kindred spirit, but I did. I met E.V.A. Lambert, author of What’s Next as I began reading posts from peers in my Writing 101 class. I confess that I quickly read through many of the posts, but there are a few that have piqued my interest, and I just can’t start my day without seeing what’s next!”
“Judging from her recent comment on one of my posts, I think she gets me too:
“I barely know you, only met you this week, but I feel like you’re my new best friend.”
“Guess what, Roo — I feel the same way too.”
We are both so glad God allowed our paths to cross on this gridlocked cyber super highway. We’re living proof that he’ll find us wherever we are and give us what we need.
I agree with Michelle that we are indeed on the right track . I hope together we help light this world up.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor”- Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NKJV) *
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NLT) **
*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
**Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.