I’ve got my coffee.
I’ve got my water.
My cat, my wife next to me, and CBS Sunday Morning on the tv.
Life is good.
We’ve been (ok, she’s been) working on changing a few habits of our eating. Less carbs, more protein, more exercise, all working towards a little healthier life. Not a bad thing to focus on during the summer, self-improvement and self-care (gag).
But trying to do this during graduation season, yikes.
Cheesy potatoes, white hamburger buns, graduation mints, and frosting?? Nope. My first “real” day off was Friday, and I started work on my healthier choices and did well for the first day. I managed one good graduation party, but then cracked, eating cake and Oreo fluff at our nephew’s party. Not a lot, but I have a major sweet tooth (sugar addiction) so I’m starting over again today. My wife, rock solid. She tried some baked beans, two spoonfuls, and said “nope” because they were too sweet.
However, an event made yesterday’s crack (zero self-control) well worth it. At one of the parties we were at, we had a chance to talk with the mother of the graduate. She was looking pleased with all the chaos around her with people laughing and talking and just being together after a year of nothing. She thanked us for coming, then shared something about her graduate. As you write your application to enter National Honor Society, you write about an educator whose made an impact in your life. Her graduate had written about me.
I know! She’d never shared that with me before, and I was floored. When we consolidated, our high school went to a neighboring town. Once the kids leave middle school, they are just not in our lives anymore unless we make the trek to the high school. They just disappear from our lives, and I miss that our small school. We see pictures in the paper about the great (or terrible) things they are doing, then suddenly, a senior picture. We don’t see them grow up and that’s tough. And now that both daughters won’t be known to the high school, we are out of the loop of getting information from that end as well.
So, to hear that I was that person her graduation wrote about was a surprise to say the least. With the crap show that was the last 15 months, educators forgot about the difference they are making in the lives of their students. Whether it’s been meeting via video conference, calling to check in, emailing, writing, or in our case, being present everyday face to face, it all makes an impact. It hard when you hear via social media how “lazy” educators are or when you see in the news that your state legislators are focused on dividing education rather than focusing on the great things we do to make all of our students better.
A different vein of the topic, I was going through old (10 years old) emails and came across several from parents, just saying thank you for doing the great work that I was doing. I emailed those parents, just to say thank you, because those things, the email, the messages, simply asking how we are doing, all make a difference to educators.
So, educators who read this, it’s been an ugly year. You (me) may think you aren’t making a difference. This one interaction at a graduation has helped to me to realize that difference may not be right in front of me. It may be a student writing about your impact years later. It may be just a friend request from a student from way back. It may be that message that says the second chance you gave made a difference in my life, right there.
Don’t doubt the impact even if it’s not visible today.
You are doing good work, the good work that needs to be done for our students right now.
Because you never know your impact.
PS: Yes, I need to tell myself this too! 🙂
PSS: I know she’s not reading this, but happy birthday Mom! ♥️
June 7, 2021 at 5:50 am
When I read your posts, I always feel your energy, love and care that you take to your classroom and students. You are correct…one never knows the impact a small deed or kind word will have on another whether it’s a moment or over the course of a school year. Congratulations to you and enjoy your summer!
June 7, 2021 at 10:43 am
Debbie, you are too kind. I just write from the heart. I’m not sure if that’s always a good thing or not, but you can never go wrong if that’s your starting point! 🙂
I hope you enjoy your summer as well! We went from 70s to 90s in a week, so we pretty much missed spring, again! Grr!!
June 7, 2021 at 1:38 pm
Thank you…and on those 90+ days, sit under a shade tree. 🙂
June 7, 2021 at 4:07 pm
What a special and heartwarming treat that must have been to hear that you were the inspiration for that graduate! I teach third grade in a pre-k – 4 school and so I get to see them one more year before they leave for middle school. If I am lucky they have a younger sibling that I get to have and I will see them during open house or conferences if they are tagging along.
It has been a heck of a school year. Enjoy your summer and don’t feel too bad about an occasional fingerful of Oreo fluff!