Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What I Needed

There are so many hard things in life. Of course in varying degrees of hardship. Lately, it's been pretty rough for me, but the kind of rough that's not life or death. The persistent, nagging hardship of the day to day life. Getting this 1st year teacher thing down is even harder than I could've imagined. It's impossible to stay on top of things, and dealing with unappreciative, rude students is just salt in the wounds.

Juggling the four million and one thoughts that go through my mind each day is near impossible, and sometimes I wonder if I can do it. If I've made the right choice.

But then little moments, like what just happened less than an hour ago, occur. I was letting my 2nd period class out, when one student paused for a minute at the door and handed me a note. "This is for you," she said. I took it with a gracious "Thank you!" even though I had no idea what it was. I have my prep period next (now), so I sat down at my desk to read the note once the students had cleared out.

Tears immediately started to well in my eyes as I read the sweet, kind words of this single student. Phrases popped out like "I learn so much in this class," "I honestly wouldn't ask for a different teacher," I think kids my age don't realize the impact teachers have," among other thoughtful words. This cognizant and caring student was observant enough to recognize disrespect for what it's worth. Pain and frustration for both student and teacher.

I share this because this really is a message for all of you teachers out there. If you ever have a day when you feel unappreciated and worthless, like you're spinning your wheels, remember the words of this one student of mine projecting to the whole lot of us. "I think kids my age don't realize the impact teachers have." At least one student has realized that, right? And for now, today, in this moment, that's exactly what I needed to keep going.