18 September 2014

Jack-of-all-trades

Day 18 Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

A teacher is a jack-of-all-trades.

Ever since I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I loved learning and I loved being able to help others learn.  (I don't know that my sisters always appreciated it.) There was no question that I would end up teaching.  I did, however, change my mind often about what I wanted teach.  At first I thought I would be an elementary school teacher (Thank you, Mr. Pessah.) Then, I though maybe English and I realized that my true passion was in language, just not English.  

Today, my official title is Italian teacher.  I was never really prepared for what this job would entail outside of imparting knowledge onto others.  It didn't take long to realize that some days, I would do much more than teach Italian.  It's a good thing that I have become very comfortable wearing all of these different hats.

I am a counselor or parent when a student asks me for advice on anything from better study habits to boyfriend/girlfriend or just friend issues to college choices and so much more. I like to believe that I always have a steady flow of students in my room after school (and even after they have graduated) because I have become a confidante; someone they can trust to help them or just listen.

I am a nurse.  Even though it's high school, you would be surprised to know how many kids ask me to feel their foreheads to see if they're running a fever or to look at a swollen hand or knee to see if it might need a visit to the doctor or emergency room.  I have helped stop many a nose bleed and have given many a band-aid with some first aid ointment.  I have dispensed of medicine on our field trips to Italy.  

I have been a referee when students have found their way to my room to hash out some argument.

Oftentimes I am a cheerleader for my students because I am constantly telling them that they can do it. They CAN learn Italian because L'italiano e' facile. (Italian is easy)

I have been an advocate for my students when it comes to the administration or the board of education, letting them always know what I feel is best for my students.

Many times, I am able to take one hat off before donning a new one but when I take my students to Italy, I wear all of my hats at once. I am their parent always watching out for them or signing paperwork at the hospital in Sorrento when they're sick. I'm their bodyguard when a mom comes up to one of my students yelling at him for dancing too close to her daughter.  (I know, what mother goes to a club with her daughter?!) I've been their nurse doling out medications at specific and not-so-specific times or holding a bucket on a crazy boat ride. I'm their guide through some of the most beautiful scenery and art. I'm their friend posing for a funny selfie.  There are so many hats that I wear when I'm on one of these trips that I can easily lose track of what the count might be that I liken myself to the man on the cover of the children's book, Caps for sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.  As exhausting as these trips can be, I wouldn't change a thing. I get to share my passion for Italy and all things Italian with them first hand, giving them a truly unforgettable experience.  So, I guess you can just call me Jack. 

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