This teacher says kids' hearts are more important than their reading level. Right on.

A teacher's gift from a student shows that education is about much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Teachers are under enormous pressure these days to get students to meet certain academic standards, starting at increasingly younger ages. Most teachers recognize that a true education involves far more than filling in the right bubbles on an answer sheet, but many feel that their hands are tied by expectations that leave them little room for anything but test preparation.

However, stories like the one that teacher Katie Pearson shared on Facebook remind us all that more important things happen in the classroom than just basic academics.


Her student gave her a box of Ziploc bags—and a reminder of what matters most in her role as a teacher.

Katie Pearson, a first grade teacher at Blue Haze Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas, first described how she was having a bad day when a student presented her with a humble, but meaningful, gift.

Today was rough. Like I don’t cry and I cried 5 times today. I was ready to crawl in a daggum hole. Sometimes or most of the time, as a teacher you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You feel if not everyone of your kids leaves reading and writing on level...that you have done a disservice to them. You feel like you not only failed your students, but the parents, the next teachers, the administrators, etc. You feel like a failure because you didn’t read every day with every student (which is impossible). You feel like a failure because not every student showed huge academic gain. You feel like you shouldn’t be a teacher because your classrooms academic data doesn’t look like the classroom across the hall. You feel like you have set a kid up to fail because they didn’t read a non fiction level 16 with the proper comprehension and text to self connection. You feel the weight of their future on your shoulders.

Well today I realized something that most educators won’t agree with...It’s okay if my students leave my classroom NOT...

Posted by Katie Pearson on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Then one of her students presented her with a humble, but meaningful, gift.

But today, reality hit me at the end of the day straight in the face. Reality hit me by a 6 year old holding a box of ziplocs. “Miss Pearson. I have you something. ”She hands me this box. “Thank you so much! What are they for?” “Miss Pearson before Christmas you said you were out of ziploc bags at home. I saw your sandwich and chips in the same bag. Nobody needs that. That’s gross. Plus, when we need something, you get it. When we lose our glue, you may not be happy but you get us another one. Or when Joe* eats his pencils, you tell him it’s wrong but you still give him more. You told us that if we love people, we show them. You said real leaders show people. I just want to show you.”

Pearson said it's okay if her students leave her class not reading at a certain level as long as they leave with "a heart that loves others."

Pearson said that her student's gift made her sob.

"Why? Because yes I care if they read but today I realized its okay if they cannot read and write at an unrealistic level because when they leave my classroom, they leave better than they came. It’s okay if my kids can’t retell every non fiction book and make text to world connections because they leave with a tender heart. Sure, the world needs better readers and writers....but our world really needs softer hearts, eager hearts, and willing hearts. Our world needs kids who observe more and learn from it. Our world needs more compassion. So my kids may not all be on level when they leave me...but they all leave me knowing they can be better and that they have the potential within to make this world better."

Being a teacher is so much more than merely helping kids develop academic skills. Dedicated educators care about nurturing the whole child—their heads and their hearts.

"I’d rather have a class leave with a heart that loves others than with the ability to read a DRA 16," Pearson concluded. "Because those ziploc bags mean more to me than an entire class on grade level. Anyone can teach them to read but not everyone will teach them to care. 💕"

Teachers have enormous influence over the children they teach. And the more kids who are taught to care for others and to show it through kind deeds, the better the future world will be for all of us.

Keep up the good work, Ms. Pearson.

Most Shared

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended


Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

SK-II

"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

SK-II

"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

SK-II
True
SK-II