John posted a comment on my last post that I have read and thought about for several days now. I decided it was time to actually write about it. He said:
When I focus on the externals, teaching can be almost unbearable dealing with rooms, equipment, administration. When I focus on the students, I am usually thankful I became a teacher in most cases.
How true! That is one reason why Spring is more difficult me than the fall semester: I teach a heavier load in the fall, and I literally don’t have time to think of much else. I don’t have time to get caught up in the problems. I just deal with them But in the spring, I have more time to actually fret about them. I can get so caught up in the externals that I almost forget about the students at time.
This semester was an easy one in some ways and a difficult one in others. Students had all kinds of problems outside of class, and that always worries me. Inside class, some of them didn’t care. Others cared but not enough to work hard. It was discouraging in many ways.
But then Monday a young lady came to see me. She was one who had some trouble outside of school this semester. She won’t be back in the fall, and she came to say good-bye. When she told me she would come see me Monday, I expected her to be arguing about her grade or something like that. Instead, she came to thank me and to give me a gift. She told me how much she will miss me and how thankful she was for my concern and assistance.
I was shocked. And I remembered, as John said, that this is why I am a teacher. Not every student comes at the end and praises us for our efforts, of course. But it only takes one to remind us that what we do does matter. It gives us the strength to take on the next class, the next set of challenges.
I would like to thank both John and Cindy for reminding me of this.