Reaching for the stars

When I got into this teaching profession, I had stars in my eyes. I thought that I could make everyone excited about learning. But then Jimmy walked into my class – angry and sad. “Is this special to you?” he asked, picking up the coffee cup handmade by a student. He smiled at me and turned away. “Oops, I dropped it,” he said without a trace of regret as it hit the ground. Or Betsy, the girl who flinched anytime anyone got too close. Andy, the boy who curled up in a fetal position under his desk and wouldn’t come out. Jasmine, who pulled her hood up and put her head down and didn’t talk to anyone. These were my kids and in a sense they are all our kids.

Reaching all students is not easy. Kids come to us with hurts and failures and attitudes. But teachers have power, incredible power to make a difference. It takes patience and persistence. Over the years it’s become my mission to reach every student and to preach this message in every professional development workshop I offer. Kids can when we believe they can. It’s almost that simple.

When we take the time to get to know the people sitting in front of us (yes, even when there are 150 of them across the day), when we truly believe that the human connection is the most important thing we teach, amazing things can happen. All our kids are all our kids, and all kids can learn at high levels when we believe it’s our job to teach people, not programs.

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About eduk8te

Kathy Moore’s passion is literacy, and she serves as a mentor teacher and staff developer throughout the greater Bay Area. Kathy is the City of San Ramon's Poet Laureate; she also teaches poetry writing workshops and is an instructor in the Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership (MATL) program at St. Mary’s College of California. She was honored as SRVUSD Teacher of the Year in 2007 and San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2009. Kathy holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University, East Bay, an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from St. Mary’s and a B.A. in English Education from SUNY Albany. She and Bob Moore are the proud parents of four beautiful grown daughters, and the smitten grandparents of two beautiful boys.
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