Saturday, June 16, 2012

10 Years of Teaching Stats & Thank Yous

I just completed my tenth year as an elementary school teacher.  Including my time spent working as a teacher's aide and student teacher, I've been in elementary education for 15 years.   The majority of classroom teachers leave the profession within their first five years on the job.  I am so grateful that I accidentally discovered teaching during my sophomore year at San Diego State University.

I entered SDSU as a television and film major.  My dream was to become the next Barbara Walters.  I never even considered being a teacher prior to this.  A friend at SDSU was working for San Diego City Schools as a teacher's aide.  She told me how fun the job was.  I remember her saying, "I love my job!  I even get to play kickball!"  I thought I'd give it a shot.  I needed a part time job, and it did sound easy (this notion is now hilarious to me). 

A few weeks later, I was hired to work as an aide in a special ed kindergarten classroom.  I was 19 years old at the time.  Prior to walking into that special ed kindergarten, I was still fairly certain that I wanted to be the next Barbara Walters.  As soon as I stepped into that classroom, I knew I was going to be a teacher.  It was what I was meant to do. 

I could never forget any of the students I've worked with in these past ten years as a head classroom teacher.  Every year, I get to spend 6 hours daily for 180 days with 20 to 23 kiddos.  A lot happens within that time.  Here are some numbers detailing some of those happenings.

A Few Stats from the Past 10 Years
*Summer school stats are not included.


Students taught:  218

Parents/guardians of those students:  430

Parents/guardians who said thank you: 424

Parents/guardians who said things other than thank you: 6

Student teachers:  4

Back to School Nights:  10

Open Houses: 10 required, 25 total

Contract Hours Spent Working:  12,600

Actual Hours Spent Working: well over 20,000

Hours Commuted:  A little over 2,500

My own money spent for supplies, books, etc:  a little over $6,000

Money reimbursed by the school or PTA: $2,400 (I consider myself lucky)

Student trips to the emergency room during school hours:  2

My own trip to the emergency room during school hours:  1

Earthquakes during school hours: 1

School lock down: 1 (due to a mountain lion sighting)

Most bizarre question from a parent:  "Do you think my son has PMS?  I mean, is it possible?"

Funniest conversation with a student (happened right before a science lesson on the moon):  
   Me:  I saw the most beautiful crescent moon while driving to work this morning.
   Student A:  What! Work? You have a job?
   Me:  (blank stare)
   Student A:  Really, Miss Nosek.  What's your job?
   Student B:  She's our teacher!  That's her job!
   Student A:  No, I meant a real job.
   Me:  (speechless)

Most meaningful compliment from a parent:  "You changed my child's life." 

That is what it's all about.  In my ten years, I've had a few parents tell me either through email or in person that I changed their child's life.  This is the highest compliment a teacher can receive.  This is why I do what I do.  Every time I hear this from a parent or read it in one of their emails, I get a little choked up.  Nothing is more important in my job.


I also acknowledge that I did not magically become a teacher without any help.  I was so fortunate to have incredible teachers of my own and professors who inspired me to better myself and question what I do everyday in the classroom.

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Brown, at Brooktree Elementary gave me a love of geography and science.  She also showed me that school can be fun. 

In high school, I'll never forget my junior year English literature teacher.  Michelle Shibley set the bar high for all of her students.  She wouldn't accept anything less than what we were capable of.  I still greatly respect and appreciate her for that.

As a teacher's aide, I was so fortunate to work for many great classroom teachers.  They were the ones who truly inspired me to get into the profession.  Stephanie Cauchon, Teresa Clare, Leilani Fernandez, and Kerri Perry welcomed me into their classrooms on a daily basis and truly taught me what it meant to be a real teacher.

While working toward my credential at San Diego State, I was also fortunate to have two model master teachers.  Christina Audette and Ted Hooks were the absolute best model teachers to learn from.  Much of what I do now was directly learned from them.

Then, there's the woman who inspired me to make it my mission that every child who comes to my classroom learns to enjoy reading and writing.  So far, mission accomplished.  Thank you so much, Marva Cappello.  I hope you know how many lives you've touched through your teaching.

I've also been very fortunate to work side by side with many teachers who still inspire me day in and day out.  I don't directly teach with them any longer, but their friendship, advice, and example still stick with me.  Midge Fuller and Katie Kinnaman, you are perhaps the two best teachers I've ever had the privilege of working with.  I am so lucky I was able to learn from you.

Now, onto year 11 and my new teaching adventure in fifth grade!

A book dedication from a student.  Thank you, Anthony!

  



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-Christina

 
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