Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teachers Have Heart....and Maybe a Tattoo or Two

Continuing with Teaching Blog Addict's Blog Hop I am posting about what teaching means to me.
As a 2nd grader, I had the most wonderful teacher, Mrs. O'Neal!  Loved my teacher.  Loved my class; we learned about the Mayflower, and butterflies.  My grandma died early in the school year, and we moved into her house, which meant I also had to change schools.  I was so so sad!  But Mrs. O'Neal gave me her address and I wrote to here every week.  I have no idea what I wrote in these letters, but I do remember learning how to spell new words and then couldn't wait to use them in a letter.  Decided and vacation are two words I specifically being excited about:-)  Anyway at my new school, I did not love my class and I did not love my teacher.  She used the word lavatory instead of bathroom (only I didn't know what lavatory meant, since I missed that part of the year) I could not figure out why people were asking to go to a science all the time.  I felt so dumb when I finally figured it out.  We switched for reading and that was the only part of the day I remember looking forward to.  That teacher retired the next year.  (And all the rest of my elementary teachers were lovely...though Mrs. O'Neal will always have a special place.)

I knew from the age of seven that I wanted to grow up and become a teacher.  Hopefully I help 28, or 32, or 24 (whatever the number be) kids each year, experience a little bit of Mrs. O'Neal and prevent what I experienced at my new school's 2nd grade class. 

Two of my tattoos express what teaching means to me.
This one is the Hebrew for jubilee.  Obviously, I have a thing with words.  My students know that it is my favorite word and get really excited when they find it in a book they read:-)
The first four definitions are all about celebrating a passage of time.
First, it has to do with rejoicing and celebrating.  Learning about new things and each other should be  cause for celebration.  Second, the word is used as part of a Jewish Celebration, from the Old Testament.  "Year of Jubilee."  During this year, debts were considered cleared, land was returned to original owners...etc.  Everything was given a fresh and clean start.  While the Biblical application of debts and land does not have anything to do with teaching the fresh start does.  Teaching means that every day is a new day.  A new opportunity to fix a problem, help a student, redo a lesson, learn and move on.  Nobody comes with a blank slate, but being a teacher means I can help write positive messages into the social, emotional, and academic slates of my students, when they might not get it anywhere else.

This tattoo is an apple inside a lightbulb.  For teachers this doesn't need any explanation.  (Someone once asked if it had to with being a scientist:-)   Anyway I think we all love the lightbulb, especially when it is a student who works so hard to figure something out....or a really bright kid whose thinking is changed or moved to a deeper level.  But it also applies to me, as a teacher.  I never want to stop having lightbulb moments.  Blogland has been amazing source for lightbulbs.  I learn so much from the amazing teachers all over the country. 
With students and myself I always want to be reminded to seek them out, no matter how dim or bright the lightbulb moment actually is....

For more teachers sporting rocking tattoos (whether they apply to teaching or not) check out Mr. B's Linky Party.

Happy Thursday,


  1. Thanks for linking up and sharing! And I love the stories behind your tattoos :)

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher
    Endless Pinabilitites!

  2. Aww love the story about Mrs. O'Neal! and what a great reminder to make sure that new students feel loved and understand our routines and procedures too!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  3. These kind of blog posts are my favorite . . . Heart felt stories about life! I want to get a tattoo of an owl and Philippians 4:13. I just want the reference, so people have to go look it up!!
    Owl Things First

  4. a very heartfelt story.. thanks for sharing, :)

    ♥ rachel
    Teaching Melodies

  5. Laurie - Thanks for being the inspiration behind my inky linky party! :) I love the story and meaning behind your tats - very meaningful! :)

    Thanks again for the link up!

    Mr. B's Beach Brains

  6. I also have a wrist Hebrew tat! I linked up too, check it out!
    Enter my giveaway @ Fun in 1st Grade