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. 🙂