“I’ll be your candle on the water. This flame inside of me will grow.
Keep holding on, you’ll make it. Here’s my hand, so take it.”- Candle on the Water
At this time, much of the focus in education is on improving teacher preparation programs and providing better support for first year teachers. Throughout this year, I’ve participated in many conversations regarding things that I wish I had known as a first year teacher. As I watched the images of the devastating floods in St. Tammany parish, I was reminded of one of the things that caught me unaware in my early years of teaching: the amount of worry I experience for my students.
As a first year teacher, I knew that it was important for me to create a positive and supportive relationship with my students. My professors and supervising teacher had stressed that this is one of the most important elements in regards to student success. However, I didn’t realize that the 660 students I currently teach plus all of my past students would earn a special place in my heart.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that there are a variety of reasons for me to experience worry about my students. This past weekend, my concerns revolved around their safety and well-being during the tumultuous weather. At the same time, I recalled the number of students that have family members that serve as first responders. I was filled with both anxiety for their safety and gratitude for their heroic work.
I was thankful to see my students’ bright and happy faces this morning. During our morning meeting, our principal spoke about the faculty members that had been impacted in the flooding. She also spoke about the measures the students and teachers can take to help those in need in our community. While morning meeting came to a close, I thought of the song “Candle on the Water” from Pete’s Dragon. As educator’s, we have been given a wonderful gift- to serve as a “candle on the water” for our students. Even though the price to pay is that I’ll always worry about the welfare of my students, it is worth it to be a part of each of these amazing lives.