My Most Memorable Teaching Moment

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I will never forget a young boy named Marcus who sat in my room with a look of mischief on his face and his cornrow braids.  He was always giving me a run for my teaching experience in my first year of teaching 3rd grade.  I was used to teaching the middle school students and getting them under control with the raging hormones, yet this little 3rd grader who had emotional outbursts in 2nd grade and hid under desks somehow managed to enter my room in 3rd grade.  My first question to myself was, “How in the world am I going to teach this child?”  I immediately began developing some type of rapport with him by diving into his world.  He would act out by talking out of turn, being silly in times it wasn’t appropriate, making issues that weren’t necessary to make and so on.  As his attention getting behavior began to escalate and my ability to understand his needs became more wise, I learned that he was no longer the baby in the family because his sister was now a mother to a new baby.  So he was no longer the baby and getting all the attention.  Once I got that valuable piece of information from a phone call I made one day to his mom, then things began to shift. I will never forget that I was up at the white board teaching the lesson of Subjects and Predicates.  We had been over this concept so many times my head lost count.  Marcus at this point was sitting in the back of the room so he wasn’t front and center in the class disruption.  He was actually sitting in his seat and focused; this was a site to see and embrace.  There was something in me that knew I had to keep going with the lesson for the millionth time because in my intuition I knew that someone was about to have a breakthrough.  Then, all of a sudden I had my back turned to the class as I was writing on the board when I heard this huge yelling from behind me.  The little voice I heard was, “I got it!” “I got it!” “Ms. Miles, I finally got it!”  I turned around and Marcus was standing up out of his seat with this bright look in his eye as if he literally just had his come to Jesus moment of connection.  Meaning, thank GOD he finally got it!  I was so tired of teaching that same lesson!  My immediate response was, “Omg ya’ll Marcus finally got it, thank you Jesus, we can now move on!”  He had the best grin on his face, his classmates lovingly laughed with him and me at this experience and began clapping.  In that moment, his educational career changed. I continued to follow up with him through the grades and in 5th grade he had flourished into an amazing grown up adolescent who was focused on his work and exhibited a quiet confidence about his successes.  He has always come up in my mind and heart when I tell of any teaching story because there was something so powerful that day in his statement of, “I finally got it!”  It reminds me of how many of us are in search of something that our emotional bodies may be blocking until that one day that emotional block gets out of the way and we finally get whatever it is that we have been seeking to understand.  I am forever grateful to Marcus that day in my classroom for not only teaching me the lesson, yet being such a huge inspiration at the tender age of 8.  Thank you Marcus for the story I am blessed to continue to share.

-S.Carino

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