Saturday, August 1, 2009

Let's start at the very beginning...

From the Apple
Nothing could have surprised me more than when Courtney came home from college to tell me she wanted to be a teacher! When she left for college as a self-confident in-charge-of-the-world 18 year old, she looked at me and said, "I don't know what I'm going to be, but I certainly am not going to teach! You guys don't make any money!" Both her father and I are teachers and she was right! So when she came home and told me that she was going to major in education, I actually tried to talk her out of it. "Remember all those long hours that I work and how little I always got paid?" "Yea, but remember those summers we had together and how much you have always loved what you do and how much joy you've always gotten from your students." She was right. There has never been a day when I haven't wanted to go to school. I have loved walking into my classroom each year. Teaching has been one of my great joys. It has been my life's calling - my life's mission. Why wouldn't I want that for my daughter?

From that day on I have enjoyed every minute of thinking about Courtney - the teacher. I have loved as she has talked about her courses and her students as she interned. I remember when she called me once to tell me about this really "stupid" course she was taking called Phonics. "What in the world will I ever do with THAT?" she lamented. "I HATE taking courses I will NEVER use" - always the drama queen! Oh dear!

One of my proudest moments was the day that Courtney graduated from Florida State University. There she was in her cap and gown - with colors of her Masters degree streaming down her back. Was she ready? She certainly thought she was - Courtney has never lacked in self-confidence! Maybe the better question - Was I ready? Was I ready to embrace her as an equal, as a teacher, as a mentor, as a friend? On Graduation Day our journey together - as teachers - began. Welcome to this peek as we travel this road together - mentor and newbie - mother and daughter.

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