Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Highs of life

I had the pleasure last year to work with a woman that truly changed my perspective, not only teaching, but on life. One thing she instilled in me, is the idea of realizing and embracing the 'highs' that life hands you. Whether it be completely out of the blue or hard-fought, these highs are reminders of who you are, and what you do with it. I have two areas in my life that I feel blessed to be a part of. Teaching and coaching. Here are my two most recent 'highs'.

Jennifer (names have been changed) is a beautiful young lady in my Kindergarten class. She is the sweetest thing, big smile, polite, caring, kind, everything you would hope for in a young lady (at the age of 5). Jennifer has a twin sister, as well as 3 older siblings all living with their very hard working, loving single mother. Yesterday, Jennifer comes running up to me waving her paper in my face. After I calmed her down to ask what all the commotion was about, I had to fight back the tears. She was beaming, pointing to her name at the top of the paper. It was perfect. Capital J, lower case e-n-n-i-f-e-r. Beautiful; and she knew it. She said, and I quote "This is the first time I have ever written my own name all by myself. No one had ever taught me to do that before. Thank you Ms. T"...... And as I'm fighting the urge to tear up now, I hope you see how this is a Teacher High. This is why I do what I do. I have changed this girls life, and whether she remember me in 20 years or not, I was there for that moment, and have helped shape her future. Seems silly for a teacher to need reminders of that, but sometimes you do.....

Though running from school to get to practice with my highschool girls is exhausting some days, it's days like today, that makes it all worth it. Now don't get me wrong, it isn't just because we won. Or because we beat an undefeated team.. that was (key word WAS) currently ranked #1 in the state. It was because I knew we could beat this team. We looked at last years game, we looked at the games they had played thus far this year, we worked on certain plays, we did team bonding games, we worked hard and got these girls psyched up for this game and went in knowing we were as prepared as we could be. We went into this game knowing we would play our best. And they did. I have never seen, an entire team, every single person whether on the field or on the sidelines give it their all like these ladies did. Half way through the game, I turned to the other coach and said it doesn't matter if we win or lose this game, I will tell them how proud I am of them. When halfway through the 2nd half, AP scores off a stroke, I nearly burst into tears. The looks of joy, the screams of camaraderie and excitement. I took a moment to take it all in; to look at the girls on the field beaming and ready to finish and put an end to this team, at the girls on the sidelines cheering their teammates on, the JV girls putting their heads together to do a cheer, the parents across the field clapping and jumping up and down. Here I was, right in the middle of all of it, and at that moment, I could not have been happier anywhere else. That, not the win (but way to go Saints!!), is my Coach's High.

Yes, I get payed to do both these jobs, and I'm not looking for praise or anything of the sort, but I feel blessed to have a passion for something in which I get to help others grow and build as people. Whether it be a challenging class full of high needs students, or a team down on it's luck or in a rebuilding year, I feel many people can miss out on the 'highs'. I have been so stuck on things in my life lately that have, well, I guess they've been lows, that I'm glad I can get my head out of the mud and take in these highs for all their worth, and go into each and everyday with a positive, ready for what life may bring attitude.

What are your highs?


Red and White Preppy said...

What great stories...you know I can identify! :) Thanks for sharing, sweetie!

CONGRATS on beating that team...YAY!