Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why my job is awesome

a.k.a. I'm going to show off a little and tell you about one of my wonderful students. 

Last year, I taught a very nice, smart, and motivated class of students.  I once joked that I could assign them the entire textbook, leave the room, come back hours later, and find them in the same place I left them, apologizing to me because they weren't able to complete the entire assignment in that amount of time.  They were literally that amazing of a group of kids! 

One of the standout personalities in that class was a student whose math confidence wasn't very high.  While very smart, this student never felt comfortable with math as quickly as most students in the group.  This student worked very hard to understand the material throughout the year. 

Today, I checked my mailbox in the afternoon and found a very fat envelope.  Inside was a letter, a piece of chocolate, and a bottle of wite-out. 

The letter was touching.  I won't repost the whole thing, but I will quote a few of my favorite sentences. 

I truly enjoyed being in your class.  Math, for me, is my least favorite subject.  It is so confusing, disorienting, scary, easy to get wrong, and a HUGE stressor/frustrator.  (Oh yeah, it's bad.  The night before 6th grade I had a minor freak out...over math class!)  Yet in your class, when I did figure it out, I felt on top of the world.  [...] And everything was so fun!  I looked forward to class.

This student include a "personal and used" bottle of wite-out signed on the bottom as a gag gift/inside joke.  I am a wite-out queen.  My kids are always poking fun at me for my obsessive use of wite-out.  I write in pen on any papers I project under the document camera because it shows up easier than pencil.  Unfortunately, if I don't write so neatly or I make a mistake, I can't erase it.  Therefore, I always have a supply of the wite-out runners and use them generously.  I got one from a girl in that same class for a Halloween present last year.  :)

I'm adding the letter and wite-out to my teaching keepsake box.  Letters like this one, while few and far between, are what keeps me going as a teacher.  What keeps you motivated? 

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