On a good day, I feel like an average teacher. I’ve battled a lot of self-doubt this year with my ability to make a difference with students. I just don’t feel that connection with this class that I have in the past, and that’s worrisome to me.
But in the last couple of weeks, two things have made feel like I might just be making a difference in this job.
I’d left the room taking my class to music or some special, and came back to a number of positive notes left by former students on my board. They weren’t anything huge, but it made me feel like I’d made an impact, a feeling I’ve not felt in a while. And for high school students (juniors and seniors) to stop by, and write messages to their old 8th grade teacher, I took that as a sign.
Then, tonight, I got an email from another former student, asking me to attend her induction into the National Honor Society as she was going to mention me as “an influential person in my life”. Umm, heck yes I’ll be at this event! Making a difference? Yup.
So, maybe, just maybe, we do impact our students. It’s hard to not smile a little bit while rereading this, but, there’s SO MUCH WORK TO BE DONE. Who knows, maybe they do listen to us and are trying to be better people?
Ok, I’ve crossed that line with “listen to us” (it’s funny, smile).
Teachers, on those days (or months) where you may be feeling like “yuck”, remember, your influence travels beyond your classroom. Years, decades beyond. And that’s what I’m trying to take away from this, that the daily grind isn’t where the reward will always be. Some days, the reward is a goofy note, or a special email.
And that’s ok. 🙂
October 22, 2019 at 11:25 pm
Your post resonates. I think at times, it may resonate with all of us. It’s good to remember… “So, maybe, just maybe, we do impact our students.” I think we do. No, we definitely do.
October 23, 2019 at 10:04 am
I agree with to a point. This has been a year where I’ve felt like nothing I do makes much of a difference. I’ll be interested to see as these students move forward, will there be that connection? Right now, I’m not sure. And we have classes like this one, where the connections just don’t seem to happen. It’s not bad, but just how it is. I’m rambling now, but thank you for your comment. 🙂
October 23, 2019 at 1:23 am
Yes teachers do make a difference. And so nice of them to let you know.l
October 23, 2019 at 9:08 am
It’s the little things in life that make all the difference! 🙂
October 23, 2019 at 5:24 am
You nailed this one! So true…that the rewards and joy from teaching are not the daily grind but those little notes and communication from students along the way. 🙂
October 23, 2019 at 9:07 am
Exactly. I wish I could put those into my “good news” bag I started many years ago, but the pictures I took and the saved email will have to be enough! 🙂
October 23, 2019 at 5:50 pm
The adjustment in the fall always feels deeper every single year and then suddenly one day we notice that it’s going smoothly…finally. Congratulations on your enduring impact on your former students. I’m sure your current students will share their respect.