A Note To Always Remember From A 3rd Grade Student

A Note To Always Remember From A 3rd Grade Student

A Note To Always Remember From A 3rd Grade Student
-Former 3rd Grade student from our “Cardinal School” in 2022 (had permission to post from her mom). 

When I think of my job as an educator, lots of things fill my mind. Yes, we have a lot of work to do on a daily basis … but in the end, it is all for our students and his or her growth. 

I became a teacher because I knew I wanted to work with students everyday.

I wanted to encourage them. I wanted to instill the importance of education. I wanted to make learning fun and engaging. I wanted them to feel excited to be in our classroom and school. I NEVER wanted it to be a place where they dreaded going or felt like they did not have a reason or purpose. 

Over the past few years, things have gone south and changed for everyone. In my workplace as a teacher, it has drastically changed. I went from going to school overjoyed to teach and shape the minds of young children to crying and shaking in the car while driving to work. This mindset changed for a few reasons, but to sum it up in a nutshell, it was due to the constant toxic environment and lack of support for teachers. 

We are in a teacher shortage. So many teachers are realizing that they are working harder than ever for others and constantly putting themselves and their families second or last.

Enough is enough. 

In February of 2023, I realized this first hand. I realized I needed a change. No, I am not saying every school has a negative or toxic environment … but things for me come in threes. I have been hurt drastically by three schools. Three schools that I thought would be a safe place for me and my students. Three schools that tried to get me out of education forever. Three schools that hit my mental health hard. Three schools that tested my relationship with my husband and changed everything. 

Let’s back up two years … In 2021, my son and I found our safe place. Our safe school. He will be returning and I will be trying new things, but I know with Faith, Hope, and Love that things will turn around for the good this school year. Even though I will not be teaching at his cardinal school, I will be close by and give him the independence he needs. 

A Note To Always Remember From A 3rd Grade StudentIf you are an educator, please remember a few things as we start this new school year. 

  1. You MATTER. 
  2. You make a difference. EVERY SINGLE DAY.   
  3. KIDS DESERVE IT! (Thanks Tech Ninja Todd for instilling this into me very early on in my career) 
  4. We would not be in education if we did not want to change the world, especially the world of children.  
  5. Don’t forget to put your family and yourself FIRST even when it is hard. 

If you are a parent, please remember a few things as we start this new school year. 

  1. Teachers work hard for your kiddos. We are not in it for the income; we are in it for the outcome. 
  2. Please be kind. 
  3. Please collaborate and communicate with us (we want to work as a team). 
  4. Please spoil your teachers (even if it is a little simple uplifting note). 
  5. Most of all, create memories with your child after school. This makes a great talking point and a way we can build a relationship and connection with your child. 

Have a great school year, everyone! Let’s make it the best year! 

Natalie Chustz
Natalie is a mom to an energetic busy 5 year old, Brody, and a wife to Andrew. They live together in Opelousas, Louisiana. She was born and raised in Lafayette until 2021. Natalie graduated from UL in Early Childhood Education and ULM in Educational Technology Leadership/Instructional Coaching, and has been working in the education field since 2012. Recently, she became her own boss in two different ways. One is with Pampered Chef and the other one is with Chustz 3: Camp, Creativity, and Chef, LLC. Brody is constantly teaching her that motherhood is the greatest and most rewarding gift and that every day is a chance to make memories together. You can frequently find Natalie helping others, planning and reaching her goals, and living everyday to the fullest... Livin' my best life is one of her favorite mottos that hits home especially during the summer months when she is on "Summer vacay" due to teacher life. In her downtime, she likes to plan vacations/camping trips, read, and write when not tending to her son and new puppy.


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