June 28, 2023

I’m lucky that some of my students like me enough to get me a gift at the end of the school year. I always ask if they are sure they want to give me a gift and tell them that they don’t have to get me anything. Of course, I do want the gift. I get some pretty good stuff.

The gifts have started rolling in and one thing I’ve noticed is that they all wrote a card for me. I don’t have a habit of giving a card with a gift. The cards, though, are meaningful. I keep all of them. They’re entirely unique and many are heartfelt. I always get a bit of an ego boost when they write about how wonderful I am.

I don’t want it to go to my head, though. I have to temper my emotions and remind myself that they are students. When a kid writes you a note explaining why you’re the best teacher they’ve ever had and can’t wait to see you again, it’s hard to put the feelings aside. Teachers do invest in their students and love to see them succeed. All year, it feels like a battle to get them to listen, complete their work, ask good questions, and work for themselves, and it often feels like you’re getting nowhere. These cards make you feel like you’ve achieved something.

My goal is not to send smart kids out into the world. It’s to send good people to the world. I offer up what I can, knowing that I might maybe reach 10% of the students in my classes. All I can give them is a chance at taking something away from me. Whatever students learn from me could potentially have an impact at some point later in their lives. I’m working on figuring out how to best deliver the spoils.

It’s nice to be appreciated for something I might not have done yet.


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