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,
This letter reaffirms to me that this is where God has chosen me to be...in 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!!!