From the title you probably think I am going to lament on the woes of a weary day….so wrong. Today was one of those days that solidify why I love being a teacher.
“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman
My day began with an email from a parent, quite unusual for our school as each child has an advisor but the email began…”(my child) wanted me to email you directly since he feels most comfortable with you.” The nature of what it was about and why is not the story…it’s not what made it “One of those days”… it was the meaning behind that first sentence. I only came to know this student last year in class, where I had him once a day, and was a so glad to get back again this year, but again only once a day. But apparently in all those once a days in his day of many interactions, I got to make a difference.
There is nothing more powerful than to find out that in the simple interactions, you make an impactful difference. Apparently all the while of working on comprehension strategies, building study skills and vocabulary knowledge, and work on executive function tactics, along with all the other academic dealings we had… there was a rapport building that was so meaningful to this student, he trusted me to help in this trying time get into his day and cope with a situation, and I had no idea. This student knew that I would go to bat for him, support him, and guide him to get through.
I feel I have done nothing special with this student, I actually find days wishing I could do more, but I wasn’t looking at the right picture. He didn’t need more strategies and skills (well okay he does but…) he needed someone he felt was in his corner. That was not a lesson I directed or taught, but he has turned around and taught me.
So today was one of those days, when I remember why I am a teacher, why I do what I do…I teach reading, I teach writing, and all those other academic things teachers do…but in the end when you find out you have reached a student…really reached a student to make a greater impact, then you have done the job that matters most.
So while I got the thank yous from him and his mom, I truly thank them for making me feel so proud to be his go to person and his teacher. It is so humbling and meaningful.
“You really can change the world if you care enough.”~ Marian Wright Edelman
I add that I included quotes from Marian Wright Edelman for I immediately thought of her book today: The Measure of Our Success. For while receiving there recent honor from The Academy of Educations Arts and Sciences and definitely humbled by that….this incident today is more powerful. This day was a measure of my success and impacting students that I interact with each day. So I dedicate my honor to this student, for he and others that cross my threshold are the inspiration for my dedication to education and the needs of students with learning differences.