“I walked into my son’s room last night, and he was engrossed in a book. My heart leaped out of my chest, and in that moment I just loved him so much!” I exclaimed as I looked unto thirty sixth-graders hungry for lunch.
I smiled, and they all started laughing.
“What! What are you saying, Mrs. Farmer? You only love your son when he’s reading?” they all exclaimed.
I retorted,”Now, y’all are just picking on me. I always love my son!”
We all laughed together, and then headed out down the hall to lunch.
Now, it was probably a bit selfish of me to be telling that story to begin with. Really–who wants to hear these boring personal stories from their teacher. Sadly, the one fun part about being a teacher is you always have an audience-may not be a captive one, but an audience just the same. Despite that, aren’t those the most treasured moments in teaching. Laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
In the world of education there is always a new initiative, procedure, or demand for higher standards. But, truly, the joy in teaching often lies in the small moments. The moments when you catch that one student working harder than ever before, the snide joke–by the “cut-up” in class who deep down really enjoys your teaching and you know it, or the student who comes in every morning with a bright smile ready to help, whatever the task. I love those moments, and that is what I love about teaching.
So, as we await the end of grade assessment scores, wondering, “Did I really do my job? Am I a good teacher?” I hope we can also remember that those scores will never take the place of those special moments, which make teaching so worthwhile. That our worth and the worth of our students reaches far beyond a number. The heart beat, the sweet souls who show up each day-bravely-despite failed attempts at learning and through victories, too, can come together and keep going with hope for a bright future.
Last week, I wrote about the simple comfort of drinking coffee from my mom’s teacher mug every morning. I love holding on to that tradition! We all have teaching comforts-and it’s those small comforts like our students’ laughter that make it the best job in the world.
I’m going to end this post with a scripture, since this is a reflective post. I hope those who read this may gain something from it as well.
Wishing all teachers a wonderful week of small, joyful moments!
2 Peter 1:5-7 New International Version (NIV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.