Whenever I end a chapter in my teaching life, I write about something I've learned from my kids. And here I am, yet again, writing to you. I could probably write a post every single day about something I gain and learn from my students; my students never fail to surprise me.
This past semester has been an interesting one. I started off truly not content and I admittedly had a bad attitude about the whole thing. Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time being ungrateful and negative. I wish I could take that back.
However, luckily I realized that my negative attitude was the sole reason why I wasn't happy. As soon as I lifted that veil of negative thought, I was able to see how blessed I was.
I came to the realization that some students came to school to learn, which I am grateful for, of course. It's always a relief to have students who are eager to learn from you. Of course, they're easier to work with, so it's easier to appreciate them than some other students.
Some days, it was easy to get frustrated and upset with the students who were so obviously not at school to learn. But I've realized recently that those who weren't at school to learn were there for a different reason. They weren't there because they felt like they needed to learn. But they needed love. They needed attention.
I've interacted with students throughout my career that have had less-than perfect and sometimes purely awful childhoods and home-lives. I think that sometimes, these children are put on the back-burner and are immediately labeled at "trouble" kids. Once you label someone as "trouble", it becomes easier to give up on them.
But those are the ones we can't give up on. No, maybe they won't get an A+ in your class. Heck, it would be a miracle if they completed an assignment. But, that's not what those students need at the moment. They need to know that someone gives a darn about them. They need to know that yes, they're worth it, because no one's ever told them that before. And I've learned that this is far more important than any exam I will ever give.