Friday, June 11, 2010

Why I Teach

I often wonder what I would be doing if I didn't become a teacher.  I can never come up with a good answer...nursing I suppose, although the thought of needles just gives me the chills so I don't think I would be all that great.  So why did I go into teaching?  Well, having summers off and a Christmas break is a definite plus!  I also enjoy working with kids and trying to make a difference in their lives.  But some years you wonder if you ever really reach any of your students?  Sure, I may have taught them about the atrocities of the Holocaust during our Anne Frank/Night study, or they may have learned how to solve equations in Algebra, but teaching goes so much deeper than that.  Its about teaching life lessons as well.  This year at school has been one filled with quite a bit of tragedy.  Just about a year ago we lost a 6th grade student in a car accident while he was traveling with his boy scout troop.  In the fall, one of our students lost his mother unexpectedly to an anyerisum, another student lost his mother to infection and another student lost his brother to a lengthy illness.  What I have really tried to teach my students is to appreciate life, do the things and say the things that you would if you knew it were going to be the last time you were going to see someone.  We never know when life is going to throw us one of those curveballs.  I'm not sure if I ever got through to them or not with this message, but with her permission, I wanted to share a letter sent to me by one of my students.  This is the reason I teach...

Dear Mrs. Duve,

    I am so grateful for everything you have done for me over the past year! I know that you were my Math teacher, and the best one I ever had, but you taught me so much more than that! You taught me to accept everyone, even those who do not learn as quickly or the same way as I do! You also taught me something no one else could have ever taught me. You taught me that there are kids out there who need my help, who are fighting everyday and not enough people realize that! You are the best math teacher ever, but you teach so much more!
    I do not learn math fast and I do not understand things very well, but you never got frustrated or gave up on me! During my year with you, I began to understand. I may not be the fastest person to solve the problem, but I know how to do it and when I take my time to solve it, I can get the right answer. I have never had a Math teacher who took the time, even before school, to try to make me understand the math. When you did that it made me feel like you really cared if I succeeded! You took the time and because of that I now understand and have more confidence in myself!
    Along with Math, you taught me that everyone is different! Everyone has things going on in their personal lives, but somehow you carry on anyway! When I did the Heart Walk, it made me feel like I was helping people who were going threw a difficult time in their lives! It amazes me that you can be a great Math teacher and great mom to Ellie and Lily! Your girls should be very proud of their mom and who she is to her students! I learned a life lesson I wouldn’t give up for the world when I found out about Lily. Lily is truly an inspiration for me, and I thought you should know that! Lily never stops fighting, but neither do you! I hope that someday I will be able to appreciate life and good health half as much as your family does! Ellie is also an inspiration for me, because she goes along with it. She continues to allow Lily to have attention and she never complained during the Heart Walk! What this means to me is that you are a strong enough person to be a great mom to the two most deserving little girls and be the most inspiring and best Math teacher ever!
    You have taught me so much more than I ever thought you would! All kids out there deserve to know you and see how great you are! You should know that you gave me confidence and the willingness to achieve in math which I never thought was possible! Please continue to carry on, both in teaching and being a great mom! I don’t even know the rest of your family that well and I can tell that you are an amazing relative to your family. If everyone could have you as a teacher, we would have a smarter population in both math and life! Please say Hello to Ellie and Lily for me and know that I think they are two of the cutest kids I have ever seen! I will continue to pray for your family, look at you carepages site, and check-in on your blog! Know that your family is in my family prayers even long after I am gone!

                        Thank You So Much for Everything,
                                Kayla Schueller

This letter reaffirms to me that this is where God has chosen me to the classroom.  This is my calling!  The letter to brought me to tears and made my day.  This school year could not have ended on a better note!  Happy Summer!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Family Pictures

We had our family pictures taken for the 1st time since Lily was born.  I picked out a few of our favorites to share...Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Schools (almost) Out For Summer!

What a busy time of year.  The school year is just about over.  Today would have been our last day of school but due to snow days the kids have to go until June 9th and us teachers have to go until June 10th.  There is so much to do to wind up the end of the school year...grading papers and tests, report cards, cleaning the classroom, and for me moving classrooms.  You would think I would be getting used to it, this is the 6th year in a row I have moved rooms.  I am almost a pro at it!

We have some exciting things planned for this summer.  Every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-12 Ellie is going to attend Tot Lot.  This will give me time to take a Stroller Strides class with Lily.  For those of you who don't know what Stroller Strides is, it is an exercise class that involves you, your baby and your stroller.  I can't wait!  We have a few "mini" vacations planned for the summer as well.  Over the 4th of July weekend we will be heading up to Winona, Minnesota.  This has been a tradition for a couple years now.  Last year we didn't make it since Lily was so little, but this year I have no doubt she will love running around the campground, getting rides on the golf cart and spending time with her sister and cousin Emmy!  In late July we are having a Hartmann Family Reunion at Spook Cave Campground near McGregor, IA.  We were supposed to do this family reunion last year, but the family decided to postpone it since we knew it would fall near Lily's Glenn surgery.  This should be a great time!  There are so many great-grandkids that are all within a year of each other that there should be no shortage of fun and adventure!  I am teaching a few classes this summer through the YMCA.  These classes are all geared towards infants/toddlers/preschoolers and I can't wait to get started.  It will be quite a switch going from teaching 8th graders to teaching preschoolers.

This past weekend we were able to get out on the river for the 1st time!  Ellie loves riding in the boat and playing in the river.  She is definitly a little fish!  I think her favorite part was hanging on to her floaty and having the waves push her to shore.  Lily wasn't too sure about the boat ride at first or the river.  She was pretty indifferent about the whole experience.  Her favorite part was the snacks!

We had our family pictures taken just about 3 weeks ago and we got the proofs back this week.  The pics were Ah-Mazing!  Thanks to Amy and Kari from Life Photography for offering to take our family photos at no cost!  I will post some of the pics as soon as we get the copyright release.  I can't wait to show them off.

I hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather.  We can't wait to get summer started and enjoy the nice weather out on the beaches of the Mississippi!  Take care!

The Duves