I’m in my 50th year. I have found peace and solitude. This is the year I decided to transform my life from the inside out. I feel as though I arrived at the junction of ‘lessons learned’ which is the sum total of who I am. I know there is more to be revealed, but I must take a moment and recognize this happy place.
In my 50th year, I became a teacher. I found the career that I was destined to find. I’m a fourth-generation educator. My mother’s family was deeply rooted in education in the South. I carry this mantle from my ancestors.
I’ve always been enamored with learning and the notion of being educated. As a little girl growing up in Connecticut, one of my favorite places as a landmark was Yale University. My grandmother would occasionally take me to “The Green”, a park across from Yale. We would feed the birds breadcrumbs and hang out. I use to gaze over at the buildings – the ivy hugging the structure was the coolest thing ever – before I had ever heard the term “ivy league school.” Any environment where learning took place has always made me feel safe, secure, and fulfilled.
It’s no surprise that I am a reading teacher. I was equally obsessed with books and reading. I read through the entire dictionary as a child. Over the years, I have collected hundreds of books. Now that we are in the age of eBooks and Kindle is popular, my library has a different look. Nonetheless, I have plenty to read.
In my 50th year and first year as a teacher, I desired to be effective. In my opinion, the best way to do that is to establish relationships and gain the trust of my students. They obviously wanted the same. Their efforts to get to know me and willingness to let their guards down for the most part allowed us to establish bonds. I will never forget my first class of 8th grade students at Sacaton Middle School. I love them all!
My experiences with these students this year allowed me to reconnect with my inner child. I remember what my life was like at 12-15 years old. The pain of growing up in dysfunction and wanting to be understood. The pain of having to keep secrets for fear of the outcome once revealed. The notion of “one day, I will be free and can make my own decisions.” The pain of seeing and experiencing way too much too soon in life. The pain of always desiring to be loved and never quite getting the right portion of it.
As I am teaching and spending time with the kids in my classroom, I am praying for them. Their future is uncertain at this point, but I hold them dear in my hearts and want to always think and speak positive, lifegiving words over them. I wish I could follow the lives of all my students, but reality dictates otherwise. It has to be enough for me to know that I am impacting generations to come in my simple role as a teacher.
Peace and blessings to the promoting 8th grade Sacaton Middle School Class of 2015 – Ms. Lyons