My Student Made Me Cry Today

December 11, 2014

My student made me cry today.  Not bawl, not sob, but a little tear did come into the right eyeball of mine.

I have this class you see, I mean THAT class.  The one that you probably remember hating in high school.  The one teachers pray to end.  The class that is well.. a pain in the butt.

The kids are ok.  I have some great kids who I just want to hug and tell them how wonderful they are every second of the day, I have some kids who are just regular joe’s who are fun to have in class, and I have some kids that I’ll never be naming my children after [like EVER].  I love them all, but I’ll be honest, some of those last group of kids haunt my dreams [literally].  Some of the last group of kids have legitimately made me question if I went into the right career, if I wasted my scholarships, education, and talents on a pointless job that pays nothing and does nothing and makes me a glorified babysitter, and made me legitimately wonder if I really should be a teacher.  Harsh I know, but this has been one heck of a class.  I sometimes wonder if they wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say “Gee, I hope I can make my teacher quit today”.

So that’s been my year so far with this class.  On top of the kids that are disrespectful etc., it is a huge class (over 40 kids) with over 2 dozen unique accommodations/situations.  The last month has been especially rough and challenging.  I want these kids to succeed so badly and sometimes I’ve felt like what I do is pointless.  They don’t study, they don’t come, and when they do come they disrupt the class so badly no one can learn.

So… that being said.  Last time’s lesson went amazing!  I literally was shocked.  We did a group activity and it didn’t bomb!  The kids read their paragraphs without whining, they filled out their packets, and it really went almost flawless.  I was SOO happy.  Then today happened and they were back to their usual shenanigans and I thought to myself “well, that was short lived”, ha ha.

Today though, sitting on my desk at the end of said class, I received this anonymous note from a student:

And that my friends, made my day, month, and year.  This school year has been hard.  Teaching and coaching is hard.  I’ve missed running a lot and having a challenging career has seemed to make it harder.  I’d been asking God what I need to do better and for this Christmas I told Him I’d try and give Him the gift of being more grateful.  Every day this month I’ve tried to find something in each class and practice that I’m grateful for, including and most especially in this class that challenges me.  God is so funny though, He always gives us more than we deserve even when we try and give Him more.  So Merry Christmas to me!  And to my students:  Even though you challenge me more than I ever thought possible, I still love you, and I still want each and every one of you to succeed.

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  • Reply Erin Farnes December 12, 2014 at 1:15 am

    The student used the correct "you're"!! Huzzah!! Keep positive, keep the note in your desk, and keep being Brooke! Also know that it won't last forever and these kids need YOU (as opposed to anyone else). You can do it!

  • Reply Stephanie December 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I am realizing now I forgot to tell you about the, Hurrah Teacher letters. At the end of each semester or class I would offer my students the chance to write me a "good job" teacher note. It wasn't required I just told them that sometimes it was great feedback and sometimes it really helped on one of those awful days. I still have a binder full of them and on days like you describe I read it, and when I miss teaching it is a great reminder too. I highly recommend the practice.

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