So, I know, I missed two of my thankful days, so I will make those up later. I wanted to write today's thankful blog because it comes from something that I found out today.
A little back story...I coached volleyball at OM for 3 years. When I became a coach I met Jane* (name changed because I am not sure she would want her name used). From the minute I met her, I know this student was special. She was outgoing, funny, and bright. I had the pleasure of teaching her when she took English 10 and she was also my student aide. I developed a really good relationship with Jane over the 4 years that I knew her. She had a lot going on her life, but she was always smiling. When she graduated, she was one of the those who I knew I would miss.
Today, I got a message from her that she is home from college because she has a kidney problem that doctors cannot identify. She has been in and out of a hospital for 22 days, but the problem is recurring and she ends up back in the hospital. She said she is trying to stay upbeat, and her friends have been great with visiting her. My breaks for her because she is young and healthy, and is just starting the best years of her life (well, in my opinion). Now, she is sidetracked because of her silly kidneys (we called them this in an email).
The point of conveying this story is sort of two-fold I guess...first, is because everyday I am thankful for my health and the health of those I love.
Second, is because her note came at a perfect time. Despite it's sad message, it reminded me why I love my job. In the midst of a weird year (I say weird because we are in such limbo with common core, new curriculum, and other major changes), Jane wrote me a note that I needed to read. She said she missed me, and wanted to know how Lily is doing. I know that I am not making a difference in every student who walks through the door, but I know for certain I made a difference in Jane's life. I am thankful for the Janes in the world. Those students who remind me why I teach, and that even on my hardest days, I may be making a difference for one student and not even realize it.
Lately, it has been so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of the job. To be frustrated by the 5 problem kids, rather than teach to the 100 good ones. To keep your cool when a kid gives attitude, questions your authority, or curses at you (or someone else). This year has been a challenge in many ways, and we (BCPS teachers) have many changes coming. I am thankful, though, for the students who remind me that what I do is valuable. That there are ears that do hear me. I will continue to have good days and bad ones, good classes and bad ones, but as long as I can remind myself of what is important and get back to center, I know I will be ok.