As my fellow educators around the world can tell you, teaching is not an easy profession. It’s quite difficult, but once you find your stride, it becomes easier. Each year of teaching for me has not only enhanced my professional abilities but also my personal life as well. Yesterday, while mentoring some of my students after school, they each decided to share some of their thoughts with me and after hearing them, I was blown away. One of the guys said, “Although you and I have bumped heads, I look up to you. You’re my role model and I want to be like you. You don’t let anything break you or bring you down. You’re like unbreakable and I want to be able to address situations quickly and move on too, like you.” I was stunned. It’s not easy for us guys to open up like that and be candid, so when that does happen, it holds a lot of a value. One of my other students told me that I was honorable. She said, “I knew when I saw you not lose your cool in class over a pretty serious situation, that you were an honest person who I could trust. You’ve always been there for me and you don’t discriminate against your students. Like if a student is different, you treat them the same. We respect you for that. You encouraged me when I was so low and I thought I couldn’t get better. You let me know that in life we will be challenged, but we can still make it through.” As a smile stretched across my face, one of my other students chimed in and added, “Yes, you’re inspiring and you motivate me to want to do good things. You’re actually cool, too ” Hearing them share that with me was so rewarding.
Yes, the hours are long.
The pay is low.
The days are chaotic.
But I’m making a difference in some child’s life.
When this part of my life is over with and I move on to the next phase of my life, when I will be writing full-time, I’ll look back at these years and feel grateful that I have given my students the best that I knew how to give.
Before this is over with, I want for them all to know how much they have humbled me and inspired me to grow as a person.
Let’s give people their flowers while they can still smell them and appreciate them for all of their beauty.