Today was the last day of the 2013-2014 school year and I didn’t think I would, but I became a little sad as I distributed report cards and said my goodbyes. As always, I was gifted with a great group of kids and it was amazing to finally see them celebrate their hard work and success today. I truly appreciate those particular students who struggle, but still come to my class each day, trudging along and not giving up. I always thank them for sticking with me and trusting me for ten arduous months because at any given moment they could have given up on me and my class and walked away defeated, but they didn’t. I’m rumored to be a tough teacher that assigns a mountain of work, but the truth is that I try to be a generous grader. There are some intangibles that sometimes just don’t translate into a numerical grade, and it’s those things such as perseverance and respect that I try to reward as well as hard work and smarts. And it’s at the end when my students receive their final grade that they really understand what I was trying to do and who I really am.
Other than a quiet thank you or a soft goodbye, most students don’t show their appreciation, which in turn magnifies the rare gifts that I do receive.
I don’t think I ever went to such an extent to thank any of my teachers in public school because I believed they were out to get me or were just in it for the money and summers off, which goes to show how great my students really are.