Even though I get down in the mouth, I love my job. When I walk into my classroom each day, I show a positive attitude. I want the kids to know that each day I expect it to be a good day. Each day, I expect them to work at their own education, and together, we will get them to grow. I engage my students to make them think for themselves, to make them argue their point of view, and to make them grapple new topics. My biggest concern is to make my students better writers. They hate it. I am hard on them, but the ones who choose to step up and rewrite and learn from their mistakes, they become stronger, utilize more advanced vocabulary, and develop arguments that have meat.
Every year, I tell my outgoing seniors that when they are in college, if they need help revising a paper, email it to me. They all leave saying, “Yes, yes, I will email you.” In all of my years, I think only a few ever have.
However, this year, I had a young lady email me four papers through her first semester. I helped her edit and revise each one. She never specifically told me what kind of grades she was receiving, but because she continued to email, I have to assume they were good enough to make her want to enlist my services again.
Today, I went into class and a student of mine who knows my former student handed me a box. “This is from N_____,” she said to me. In it were delicious cookies from Cheryl’s cookies and a card. It read: “You were an amazing teacher for the two years I had you. Thank you so much for editing my papers this year. I hope you have a happy holiday season!”
Today, I felt like I made a difference. Today, I felt like I make a difference. Today, I knew that even though this job is taxing and difficult and I contemplate poking my eyes out on a daily basis (Oedipus reference), I know that I help young people grow.
I have made an impact on another human being’s life. What an awesome feeling.