A Thank You to a Special Student

Today, I am struggling a bit.  In truth, I’ve struggled a bit for the past week knowing that the anniversary of the tragic deaths of a family that I knew was fast approaching.  When it was raw, I wrote a note on Facebook, and I’m going to share part of that here.  It’s not that I want to relive this moment, but it’s that I don’t want to forget.  Here is the excerpt:

…The daughter was so bright.  I remember her has being very quiet in class at the beginning of the year and then totally impressing me with her voice on the page when she wrote for me.  She was a student that I could count on to always “get it” when I presented a big idea.  She had beautiful, shiny eyes and a lovely smile.  She was in the same section as my daughter and the girls in that class had to stick together because I had a lot of lively boys that loved to talk about war.  

The son had a much deeper impact on me as a teacher.  There was a time a few years ago when I was only teaching part time and coordinating our IB program part time.  He was in my son’s class the year I taught my son.  He was also on my forensics team, and he was a big winner for me.  His eighth grade year was a tough year for me personally, and I have trouble remembering parts of that year.  However, one moment from my writing extension class keeps coming back to me.  We were drafting research papers, and I sat down next to this young man to help him.  He was really struggling with the task of getting his outline to his draft without it looking like a list of facts.  As I sat down next to him, I told him not to read the list, but to tell me about it.  After he did, I told him to write what he told me.  A big smile came on his face and he did just that.  When he turned in his rough draft to me, I was so proud of him.  I also felt a pang in my heart.  I wanted more moments like that.  I knew that teaching was my true calling, not coordinating a program.  That was the moment that I started making my way back to the classroom full time.  Because of this young man, I became a better teacher…

Being a teacher is such an important part of who I am.  Sometimes, I don’t always appreciate that.  This time of year, when spring fever is running rampant, and I dream of summer vacation, I sometimes forget how important teaching is to me.  It is so much more than a job.  I will say, that if not for the boy mentioned above, I’m not sure that I would be teaching today.  I was, at the time, on a path in education that was leading me out of the classroom.  I will be forever grateful for this angel leading me back during his time on Earth.

I remember him today.  I remember his beautiful sister.  And I will remember both them every May 7 for the rest of my life.

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