Today was not my best teaching moment. I allowed a class to really get under my skin with their inability to pay attention, and rather than fight them, I gave in. Or, I should say, I gave up.
At the end of class, I told them that all I want to do for 47 minutes a day is help them become better readers, better writers, and better students. I acknowledged that at this point in the school year, I probably sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. I explained that for the students wanting to attend college, this semester is the most important semester, the last semester of grades before they start applying to colleges next fall. And I asked them for suggestions as to how we could have a better classroom environment.
I always feel awful after come-to-Jesus talks with classes. All I want to do is teach them, and answer their questions, and try to not come across as a heartless monster.
So when one of those students walked in my room three hours later bearing a card and a gift “from two random students” he said, I was wary. I thought for sure a couple of those class members put together something mean-spirited, something perhaps intended to be funny and hurtful at the same time.
(Why do I always think the worst?)
I opened the card with trepidation, only to read one of the kindest, sweetest notes I’ve ever read. A belated Christmas gift from two students who claim I’m one of the most likable teachers they know, and the coolest Mormon they’ve ever met.
I teared up a little as I read it, because on a day when I felt like most (not all) of what I do was for naught, I held in my hands evidence to the contrary.
I still feel anxious and upset about that class today, but I am grateful for the reminder that every now and then a student or two takes me seriously, and respects me, and gives me the courage to keep fighting the good fight.
One thought on “When You Least Expect It…”
Where is the “like” button? 🙂