Friday, February 28, 2014

Making a Difference

When I was a kid, I initially wanted to be a nurse.

I did. Seriously.

Then I had a moment when I had a needle in my hand and I passed out.

Then my dream changed. *grin*

I figured that if I couldn't handle a small needle (and it was a sewing needle to get a splinter out) in my hand, I probably shouldn't be around people who needed needles in and out of them all the time. *grin*

Then I had an amazing teacher and I decided that teaching is what I wanted to do with my life.

I went into teaching wanting to make a difference in the lives of kids.

Some days are easy and I come home without much thought.

Or there are days like today where the unexpected happens that makes me smile on my drive home. Let me share my cool story with you.

So, this morning I had a rough morning with a student, and I could tell that the student just wanted attention. I ignored it as long as I could, until it became a distraction to other students. I called for help and kept teaching. The whole time the student made sure I was still watching him. It was hard for me because I knew he wanted attention, but I was already busy giving a reading assessment to someone else. I offered one-on-one instruction to the student when I was done with assessing the student I was already with, but the student didn't want it. I could tell you the continued drama, but suffice to say, by the end of my time with the student I wondered if I was making a difference in the student's life. It has felt like no matter how hard I tried, about once a week I have to call for help so that my other students aren't shafted in learning from me. Which is fine, but I don't want this kid to struggle when it's not necessary. So, today I had a moment that made me smile.

At the end of our time together, I was blunt and said, "I'm good to you, and you've never apologized to me. I have treated you really good, and I've come to your ballgames, all but one that I didn't know about, after I figured out your schedule. That's how much I care about you." The student refused to talk or work after that, so I said, "Okay, go back to class." He left quietly and I made sure he went back to class.

I wrestled part of the day with it. Then I prayed in my head and let it go. I refused to let one kid ruin my day.

My day was pretty busy all day, and I was all over the place. At the end of the day though, I had a staff member let me know that that kid had let the regular education teacher know that he felt bad for how he treated me during class. While I never got to talk to the student (they came by but I wasn't in the room at the time), it doesn't matter. The kid thought about what I said. Which is HUGE for this kid. HUGE.

Even if this kid doesn't say a word to me next week about it. That's okay.


Tonight, that very statement is the highlight of my day.

Tomorrow I'll share another cool story.

For tonight, that's the coolest thing that happened all week.

You might be wondering, what about your other students' academic progress? Yep, plenty of that, but in this case, (and you don't know this kid) it was the HIGHLIGHT of my week.

AWESOME...Making a difference in the lives of kids.

No comments: