I’ll be the first to say that lately, I’ve been down in the dumps. I don’t know why but I hit a jut. It’s effected my teaching. I vow to fix my problem and increase the “joy factor” in my room – aka make myself happy with myself and my life. I think I re-found my joy tonight during parent-teacher conferences.
Here is the re-cap of my day:
1st period – went and took student S out of study hall (haven’t done so in a while). I was walking down the hall and said I was coming to get him and he got a huge smile on his face and asked if I was there for him. I said yes and took him to the library for tutoring. He said he thought I was mad at him last week and apologized for being lazy in class to upset me. I explained I wasn’t upset and what had been going on and he just said thanks for helping him so much. It was a small moment that made me feel good to know that my students care about me enough to care about my feelings and worry about me. I really do love my kids to pieces.
Then during conferences -
I had a mom come in and I told her her daughter was doing great, etc. and she said I was one of her daughters favorite classes (NEVER would have guessed because her daughter is just quiet and sweet). I said thanks and I appreciate her daughter. She then asked if I would be teaching Spanish II next year and I said I didn’t know, it hadn’t been decided. She just looked at me and smiled and said “the administration will be hearing from me about how great you are. you count on it.”
Then – another mom came in and I think if my former student-self was embodied in one student – it would be her daughter, A. So, I told her that her daughter was VERY bright and nice. She was talkative, but knew there was a time to stop. Her mom just smiled and looked at me and said “that’s because you’re an amazing teacher. I don’t know what you do – but it works. My daughter is learning Spanish, MUCH better than my oldest son did. So, thanks for all your hard work”.
Last parent: a mom to her son, L. I told her that her son was doing well and I still adore him. She said that was great, but she was concerned with his grade (he had a 89.3 or something). I told her this semester was harder so that grade was fantastic. She then looked me square in the eye and said: “No, it’s low. You are his favorite teacher. This is his favorite class. If he doesn’t have an A in here, he isn’t going to have an A other places. You care about him more than any teacher has.” I got a big smile on my face and said thank you and I’d do everything I could to help him. She then asked the question again: Are you teaching Spanish II next year? Again, I said I didn’t know yet and she just looked at me and said – if you need a letter, phone call, anything – let me know. I want you to continue in my son’s life, you’re changing him for the better.
It’s moments like these, and many more, that keep me going. I teach in place where my students, and their parents, talk about me all the time – in a good way about how much I care. My student’s parents are willing to go to bat for me to keep me as their teacher.
This is how I know I’ve landed right where I need to be right now, doing what I am meant to do.