Heroes and Changes

26 Aug

When we are born as children, our heroes are our parents. Then as we get older our heroes become firefighters, policemen and doctors. Then our heroes become Superman, Batman, the Incredible Hulk, and the X Men. Then our heroes are rockstars, tv figures and so forth. Then in our adulthood we realize that our heroes are just ordinary people living their everyday lives, but with a special touch to them.


My teaching career was born in 2007. My first glimpse of my teacher heroes were these young, enthusiastic, fun, and dedicated teachers. Most were within the first 3 years of starting their own credentialed career. I observed and worked with these teachers as I finally earned my rite of passage into adulthood. Then I began to enter their classrooms as I was welcomed in as a sub. I was given an opportunity to become an un official colleague by working as a long term substitute teacher. What an honor and what joy to be working with my heroes especially when some of them were my mom’s coworkers, grew up less than a mile from my house and were close to my age. They were living the American dream of having a steady and stable career. And I was working with them.


Fast forward to 2013. My heroes are slowly moving on to other aspects of their lives and are no longer a  part of my work place. I understand that not everything lasts forever, but it is painful to see so much talent and those who were my heroes disappear from my everyday professional life. If you opened up a 2007-2008  yearbook, those were my heroes. Shoot even 2 years ago in 2011, quite a few of my heroes still remained. The passionate technology savvy 4th grade teacher who has a license plate that reads “Love to teach,” the strict and feisty 3rd grade teacher that had an activity filled classroom, the tough 6th grade teacher that didn’t allow anyone to mess with her, the 2nd grade teacher that always had the highest test scores and excellent classroom management, the 8th grade quirky and witty Asian math teacher who was simply awesome because lets just face it she’s Asian, the super performing arts oriented 4th grade teacher that brought so many music and dance programs,  and so forth…. (Sidenote: I’m not talking about the personal life of these teachers. I’m basing my thoughts solely as the professional life of these teachers).


These past few months I have been unable to process my emotions towards these teachers and how they are no longer a part of the community that I am a part of. My closest dearest friends remain in my community, but everyone else around has gone. Happy for them? Sadness? Anger? Disbelief? I didn’t even know how to act. Then we came back to work and those familiar faces were gone and replaced by new, younger faces. I’m definitely not mad at the new faces. Thats for sure. My head felt heavy, my breaths were shorter and my eyes were killing me. What the heck was wrong with me? Then finally the weekend arrived and I processed my thoughts. I missed these familiar faces so much that I didn’t know how to react to their absence. My mom always said that I didn’t react very well to changes in my life. Kinda like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. But we all know that change is a part of life and is happening all around us.


I also realized that its my turn to be a hero to someone else. I’m now the veterana that was at work in 2007 during year 2 of the school being open. I am the teacher that has experience under my belt and knows the way that the school runs. The newest member to my department keeps saying how amazing we are and how we are the “best colleagues” she has ever had. We’re strong this year and we intend to keep it that way. Life is a cycle and now life has changed for me to be a hero.


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