Monday, January 14, 2008

The mixed bag

Pin It

Days as a teacher can either be really great, or not so great. At times, there can also be these days which are someplace in between.

Today was one of those days…

I came to the realization today that there is only so much that I can do for a student. If that student does not want to change his or her life, or to become something better than what they already are, there is, ultimately, nothing that I can do. This is a hard thing for me sometimes…after all, I am sure that most every teacher wants their students to be the best that they can be, to try their hardest every day. But most importantly, to become a person who can stand on their own and survive in the world.

These are some kids I’m most worried about…

I was feeling this overwhelming feeling of being overwhelmed as I sat in my classroom when everyone else had gone for the day. This is when I noticed an envelope sitting on my desk. Intrigued, I picked it up and saw that it was from a student who I taught my first year. He was in third grade the year I taught his ¾ grade split-level class; he is now a sophomore in high school.

I sat down, opened the envelope, and began to read a letter he’d written…

“I would like to thank you for being an altogether different teacher. Since I was in your class I’ve had a lot of different teachers, now I’m not saying that their methods were bad or worse than yours, they just kind of didn’t work as well. I don’t know why that is, I’ve had several teachers that I really loved their classes, but frankly, they just didn’t really end up teaching me a whole lot that I remember. So thanks for having a different and memorable way of teaching.”

As I left work tonight, I felt a feeling of not knowing how I felt. I guess I still don’t know.

Like I said, today was a mixed bag.

3 comments:

Gerb said...

I think the hardest part of being a teacher must be coming to the realization that you can't help every student in every way they may need. There are so many other factors involved that you have no control over.

You're a great teacher, by the way. In case you needed any affirmation of that fact.

Teachinfourth said...

Gerb,

Well, either that or the realization that it is way too late and you should have left the building several hours before.

Seriously though, there are a lot of things you wish you could do but just can't...

Summer Lord said...

....and then wait until you are a parent - being a teacher and a parent really compounds the feelings of 'Am I reaching anybody?!' There are more mixed bag days than one might care to have.
That is really amazing about the letter, and what perfect timing to have that moral boost after such a day. I wonder if in the heavens everyone wears a HUGE grin when such events take place. I'm of the impression they must and that they get such a kick out of being part of the heavenly messengers that bring such things to pass.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...