Sunday, May 9, 2010

Haley's College Graduation

My oldest baby girl, Haley, graduated from college Friday morning! She now has a dual degree in early childhood and special education. I am SO very proud of her!

I hope I don't embarrass Haley by saying this, but school has not always been easy for her. She has always struggled with math, and we have jokingly said that she is genetically challenged and her brain rejects anything mathematical. And, her first grade teacher called me one day and told me that she thought Haley suffered from "test anxiety." Her teacher said she would go over material with Haley and was sure Haley knew the material, but when it was presented to her as a test, Haley would get nervous and go completely blank. So, to make a long story short, Haley then started going to another room for her tests where she got to eat snacks while she was thinking, walk around the room, or do whatever she needed to do to relax herself. This made me laugh that she was allowed to do this, but it seemed to work. I was thinking she would never get over her test anxiety if she was getting this kind of treatment! (lol) And, even though testing did get better for Haley, taking tests were always a concern for her.

I fully believe that my children were created by God and were made just the way God wanted them to be! But, when Haley was growing up, I know that she felt "less than smart" sometimes. She struggled with school more than her sisters, and I know she noticed that. And, sometimes, I would wonder why she was wired this way, and what could we do to make things easier for her? But, Haley always worked very hard and did her very best. She was a smart girl but just had to work hard to get good grades. And, I knew that even in a class that was difficult for her, she was giving her best effort. That was all any parent could ever ask for!

I think Haley was a sophomore in college when she decided she wanted to become a teacher. She has worked really hard in a very difficult education program at Macon State. She received glowing reviews by her professors when she was evaluated in the classroom. One of her evaluators told her she was "born to be a teacher!" Wow. How cool is it to find out what you were truly born to do!? When Haley told me this, I thought back to her classroom struggles.

I now see that when Haley has her own student who doesn't "get" math, she will truly know that it is not lack of effort but lack of understanding. Or when a child struggles with "test anxiety," Haley will see this and be able to say "I was just like you when I was your age." Sometimes kids just need someone to make a connection and accept them just the way they are. And, Haley does this with kids! With her living in Warner Robins, she will be teaching a lot of military kids. Military kids come with challenges because they move a lot. Or, these kids have emotional issues and sadness when daddy or mommy get deployed. Haley will be a very patient, kind, and kindred soul for these kids. And, I see God's calling on her life to be used in this way.

When I watched Haley walk across the stage and receive her diploma, I felt very proud of her accomplishment. But, I also felt amazed by what she has to offer the world. God has a plan and a purpose. And, Haley was created for His plan and purpose. During the times when Haley was struggling in school, God was preparing her to teach kids who will be struggling in school. But Haley has always given her best effort, and I think she will expect her students to give their best efforts as well. She will be a magnificent teacher! And, even better, she is an amazingly sweet and wonderful person!

I am thankful that Haley's sisters and I were able to share in her special day!

Hannah, Me (Mom), Hadrian, Haley, and her husband, Austin

My Girls - Hannah, Hadrian, and Haley

Me and Haley! : )


Haley said...

Thank you Mom! That made my day. I love you so much and I've learned from the best!!

I never knew I had to leave my class in the first grade...or did I? I don't know. Mrs. Smith was a great teacher in the first grade! :)

jamie said...

Congratulations Haley!! We wish you the very best!! Becky, Brad also has trouble with math and this story is inspiring. We haven't had the wonderful teachers Haley had. We had those who made him feel less than other students. He has struggled. I am definately going to let him read this. Love to you all!

Cindy said...

Congratulations to Haley! Your girls are beautiful!