I will not even drag y'all through the drama of what all we do besides teaching.
I will say I've always felt the biggest thing we do as educators is build relationships. Teaching should be number one though, right?
The times have changed since I graduated in 2008. We are expected to teach the whole child-- their brain, heart, soul-- everything. We wear lots of hats and wind up playing teacher, mom, sister, friend, and worst enemy. And I cannot deny...
Sometimes that's draining. We have to wipe our emotions off our sleeves and show the fuck up for them.
I feel when I was in high school, we turned in our worksheets, never talked to teachers, and that was that. And sadly, it's a running joke in Beaufort to say, "You know you went to Creek" as an insult to our intelligence and education instilled at BC prior to the Whale Branch split.
I never want that to be a running joke for my students.
They know shit. They are everything.
I went to TCL and USCB and I was even illy unprepared for those local colleges. I cannot image the horror if I'd left home and went to a large university-- I'd have flunked out.
I asked a handful of old classmates what they felt they got out of attending school at Creek and they had assorted answers.
I then decided to ask a handful of my previous students who've all graduated in 2015, 2016, and 2017 two questions.
You see, I was unashamed and even asked for some criticism here with question number one.
I did this reluctantly, as I know I have pissed off many, many, many, many (many to infinity) of my students.
They do not always like my blunt words and direct voice blaring towards them.
I've heard chatter that I am a "bitch." Blah Blah. You right. My ex-husband could have told you that.
They could have truly roasted me in that aspect, but most decided to answer number two.
I asked for permission to use their first name and pictures, so you could get a vibe of their sweet soul as reading their words.
So meet my sweet (and not so sweet) student babies and their opinions on what they "got" out of sitting through english 4 with homie snowden. (Or a time i pissed them off to the max, because you know...)
I learned how to be patient from being a part of the step team. Having a bunch of teenagers with different attitudes in one room a couple days out of the week cab be hectic, especially for those who had a difficult time learning or getting the rhythm. I gained confidence as a whole because I was put into a position to tell others what to do and you know I was always shy. It helped me come into myself as a person and it made me feel like I could lead people and work with teams. It also humbled me because I had to be fair and know that even though I was in that position to listen ad not make everything about me, it really helped me get out of my comfort zone. I remember I told you I couldn't do it and you were like, "girl, I know you can, you can dance, so I know you can step. If I could step I would do it myself, but I can't." LMFAO. You really motivated me into something I wouldn't have wanted to do, and it was new to the school, so I'm glad I was able to a part of something you started with you being new to the school, as well. I could say more but people keep talking and distracting me.
You taught me the value of love. That I do not have to give love for the sole purpose that I want to receive love. That my love is a special part of me that not everyone I encounter needs to experience. That my love is most importantly meant to be given to myself.
My most valuable thing I got from your class was the opportunity to learn from a magnificent teacher. The talks we had about life and the future were very valuable because you helped me guide myself on the right path. I need more positive people in my life like you. I'm trying too only surround myself by positive people. Thank you for being there.
You didn't make me angry, I just felt like you were challenging me. I had to leave class early and you said I wouldn't be able to balance it so I should get out and go into Mr. Brown's class. So I went home and thought about it and I said I would prove you wrong... and I did. I think I passed with like a High B. You're really good at challenging people, or at least... I think you are. I'll use this same encouragement when I start my college classes.
You always made me angry in your class because you saw something in me that I could never see
The most valuable thing I learned in your class, besides the obvious, would be to just live life because no matter what you can always laugh about it later.
The most valuable thing I learned from your class would be how to put together words that were in Old English into the English we use now and how poetry explains more than we think it does. And to learn, but not in a boring way.
The most valuable thing I learned in your class is that I can always do better than just "good". Meeting a standard is good but go above and beyond the standard to be GREAT. You can always do better .
thEn my two anonymous:
A time when I got angry at you in class was when I didn't turn in my homework or didn't do the classwork assignment for that day and you entered 0's instead of just looking out for a young brother. The most valuable thing I got out of your class is to never give up.
When you were being trifling in class and stopped the movie so we ended up doing class work. ? That everyone else can screw off. You taught us to be ourselves especially in our writing. With the how systematic they have everything it was nice to be able to take writing and English into our own hands and have our way with it.
Love, hugs, and lots of kisses,
My students are always my saviors, but they'd never know it. In some weird way, they drive me mad, but I love 'em.
It just so happened over this lousy week I had, there were students who came to me with questions. While I am in my head, forcing myself to show up to work, barely eating, and running off coffee and no sleep—they were expecting answers. I could not let their questions and pain fall on deaf ears because I was moping.
I am making a great attempt to find something beautiful in each day, as I am in my climb upward. So here is my Friday dose of sunshine.
Considering I am a teacher, I have made my students blog. They made websites. Personalized them. Shared secrets and laughs on them. Whispers and screams. They were not excited about these blogs back in February when I made them create them, but you have no idea of the talent and raw emotion that fill these seats in my classroom. And by damn, if they can pick their head up, come to school all day, deal with the teen pressures of life, turn in all of these senior projects, and work after school (not getting off until I am already asleep), who the Hell am I to wallow. Below are words from my sweet, sweet students. Pulled from their blogs. On their worst days. They are inspiring.
how to not get a boyfriend
Hello my fellow single ladies. Don’t you love it how you could never get out of the talking stage? Me too! I’ve been doing it for years now that some may even say I’m a pro. If you’re wanting to know how to stay single with cats and cry yourself to sleep because you feel like you’re not good enough, keep reading.
First Step: Get attached really fast; like the first day you start talking
Second Step: Tell all your friends that you have a new boo; it’ll make explaining why you two aren’t talking anymore after a week 10 times better
Third Step: Text him really fast and show that you’re emotionally ready for a bf; He’ll enjoy how eager you are to date him after 2 days and no he doesn’t find it creepy
Fourth Step: Stalk him on social media and question who Jessica is; When he says Jessica is his cousin don’t believe him and be salty at him
Fifth Step: Get Insecure that you’re not good enough to be with an attractive man like him
Sixth Step: Make plans to meet up and hang out; It’s better when they don’t show up or call the date off
Last Step:Now here’s where you have two choices: Curse them out and end it with anger OR you could play dumb and think that when he isn’t texting you back he’s just busy; even better to double text him.
Now ladies follow these steps and you’ll come out with no boyfriend and a shattering heart. It’s okay because thanks to social media there are dating apps. There you can keep thinking you found “the one” even when it’s the fifteenth guy. It’s okay though, I’m not judging. Prosper my ladies and let society manipulate you to think you need love to have any value in this world. If not, keep buying cats.
relationships ain't shhh
"I love you, I care about you, you're not the problem, but I'm not happy, and I don't want to be with you."
Very recently, I was dumped, and I'm not going to lie, it hasn't been great. But I've had to confront a lot of issues head-on as a result of the fallout, and for that part, I'm almost grateful? I've learned a lot about myself, and I guess that's something positive I can take away from the experience. Doesn't mean I haven't cried myself to sleep every night. Doesn't mean I don't even know what to do with myself half the time anymore because I barely know who I am without him. Doesn't mean I want to move on. It hurts like crazy, but most everyone has been where I am right now.
High school is not a time to be meeting people and making plans to stay with them forever. You don't know anything. You are a child. No, he doesn't love you. Yes, she will leave you. No, he wasn't asleep at home. Yes, she was with her ex when you thought she was spending time with her mom. Everyone lies, and everyone makes mistakes (cue Hannah Montana song). Hurt people hurt people. I know I'm not the greatest person, and I won't deny that if confronted with the fact. But that doesn't mean I didn't try. I'd give anything to repair the damage I've done, and I'm sure that means something to someone, but I'm sure he isn't the slightest bit sorry for the part he played in our downfall, and it isn't my fault that he doesn't care to fix it. But that's a personal choice. You cannot make someone love you. You giving a guy or girl your all doesn't mean they have to do the same. You should not expect their love. They owe you nothing. That's just something you have to learn to accept.
As for mending your broken heart, do whatever you feel is best for you, be it working out until you're about to die, eating your feelings, partying with your friends, or kissing every person you know. You do you. No one expects you to be in your right mind right after you've had your heart ripped out of your chest. It's okay to not be okay. But know that you will make it. You will matter to someone, no matter how insignificant you feel now. You shouldn't feel used. You cared, even if they didn't. Your time wasn't wasted if you were happy. Time heals all. So chin up.
to future me
The future me better be a better and more confident person. I want to be happy with who i am and not afraid to do stuff. You should always want to work on the things you are unhappy with or know you need to work on.
10 things I’d like to tell future me is 1: be happy with your looks, 2: be happy with your personality, 3: be more confident in yourself and what you’re doing, 4: learn how to do things on your own, 5: don’t be afraid to commit, 6: look at the better and not the worse, 7: do not care what other people think/ say about you, 8: stand up for yourself, 9: don’t let “friends” walk all over you, 10: don’t be shy. All of these things are the things i want to work on most and be better at. I need to do a lot of work to better myself. I will never truly be myself if i don’t work on these.
Everybody has things they need to work on but some don’t do it and some do. Some people are better at hiding the things they know they need to work on and others, like me, don’t.
Student 4: A darling girl. Lives with her mother, step dad, and boyfriend of two years. He bought her a promise ring earlier this year—they are adorable. They are having a tough week, as well, right now. I myself k now the challenge of living with boyfriends while still in high school. But her words here, make me warm.
dear future husband,
I hope I make you happy. I hope you make me happy. I hope our children are happy. I hope we live in a three bedroom home with a giant backyard so we can adopt at least two dogs and have a garden. I hope we live somewhere, but I also hope we live somewhere that snows. There's nothing like waking up to the beautiful white blanket of snow, even if that means we're stuck in the house all day. I hope that we're successful in our daily lives and I hope that neither of us or our children have to go without or feel less than. I hope you know that I'll always be here for you and I hope our kids know that we'll always there for them as well. I hope the love we have for one another never falters nor fades. I have a big heart and I pray you have one too. I hope the both of us live to be at least 100, if not, I settle for 75 maybe. I hope you still love me after I get older and those fine laugh lines start to settle in my skin, but just know that it's okay because you're the one who caused them.
I hope that we're able to laugh and laugh until tears stream down our cheeks because whatever it is that we're laughing is just THAT funny. I hope you're willing to put up with my attitude and my emotions, as I will be willing to put up with yours. I hope that we never become too much for each other. I know that we'll have disagreements, but I know that we can make it through them. I hope there's never a thought in your mind to have a lack of faithfulness. I will make a promise to you now that I will fight for you, but not over you. If you ever have reservations tell me and we can try to assess the situation and work on it. Future husband, I promise to remind you often of my love for you. I promise to make you feel important as long as you do the same. Dear future husband, I hope you know that I will love you until our days become shorter and our breaths shallower until there is nothing left but the memories we made along our long journey.
so, we have to remember, everybody has their days. there is inspiration all around. everybody makes choices. love sucks, sometimes. there is people counting on you to straighten up and keep it moving. and it was a shocking but refreshing thing to hear one of their little voices echo...
Ms. Snowden, get your shit together.
Lots of love, tons of kisses, yes-- I am still internally a little salty.