A Phenomenal Reflection: “Giving Them What I Didn’t Have”

Nothing like having a person that’s there for you.

Sunday’s Reflection: “Giving Them What I Didn’t Have”

As I took my Walk, I thought about how I’m giving them what I didn’t have. Tuesday, I read an article: How We Kill Our Sons Before They Die In The Streets.

In the article, a black mother writes how many black mothers figuratively kill their sons before the world does. It’s a thought-provoking piece, which I hope spurs conversation. I know it resonated with me.

I didn’t grow up on the streets, but I suffered from some of the same trauma that was articled in the article. The lack of hugs. I was called a crybaby. And I was never nurtured.

Marinating on the article, I hearkened back to a comment made a friend shortly before I became a classroom teacher. She said that “I’m giving my kids what I didn’t have.”

Now, four years into my career, I realize that she couldn’t have been righter. Those things that I didn’t get as a kid are the same things that I give my students.

Early in my career, I’ve become known as a high-energy teacher in the “Ron Clark” mold. (Ron Clark is a former National Teacher of the Year and the co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy.)

According to co-worker, the kids say that “I’m the teacher that gets on tables.”

The high-energy label is my teaching style, but my true hallmark is that kids know that my classroom is a safe place. They’ll be nurtured, held accountable ,and I’ll be there every day. (I haven’t missed a day in four years.)

Students have had troubles and come into my room and know that I’ll take care of them. Their walls have come down , and they’ve stepped into their Greatness and become Phenomenal.

My second year, a parent told me that her son “let go of his anger, and he can participate in church things now.”

In addition to that, she said that she pushed him, but maybe he needed a man to do it, too. And boy did a do that. I stayed on that kid. I called his mom when he was in danger of missing honor roll. I called her when he was disrespectful. And I stayed after school to work with him on his interviewing skills, so he could get into the district’s magnet school. He got in and is now talking about “museums” and “projects.”

Another student lost her mom my second year. I purchased her family flowers and bought her a necklace to remember her mom. Later in that year, she said that no one really talks her at home, but I was there for her. Sobering and touching at the same time.

One of my favorites moments as teacher isn’t when my kids did well on the S.T.A.A.R. It’s when most of my classroom stayed on the last day of school, instead of going home. They didn’t want to leave the classroom. They felt at home.

Since I’ve come to Krahn, I’ve tried to be that same type of teacher. I go to kids’ events, teach them life lessons and make learning an experience, not a chore.

Reflecting, my childhood left me a bit “damaged”, but it did something else: made me who I am.

A compassionate, driven and loving teacher.

I’m giving them what I didn’t have.

I leave you with two things.

1. Did you have a tough childhood?

2. How has it helped you become a more effective adult?

Jeremiah Short, Educator

Published by Jeremiah Short

My name is Jeremiah Short, and I'm a educator with six years of experience. I love to teach and the overall craft of the profession. I've written one book on my journey(As I Took My Walk With God Volume I: I Stopped Wasting God's Time) with a second one way (As I Took My Walk With God Volume II: Greatness Was Upon Them). In addition to writing books, I've created several instructional routines: Word Power, T.I.D.E., Bloom's Units: Reading and The Phenomenal Classroom.

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