In the last post, I talked about the teacher who inspired me, and I asked you about the teachers who inspired you. (Check it out here.) Did that get you strolling down memory lane?
When you need a little pep talk about why you chose this line of work (in May, don’t we all need one of these pretty much daily?!), take a minute to reflect on those teachers and those figures in your life, and draw some strength from them.
And on the other hand, when you need a little reminder that YOU HAVE THE POWER, you can either turn to re-runs of the He-Man cartoon, or take just a minute to think of the first time—or the only time—or the BEST time—or the imaginary, yet-to-come time—that you realized that YOU have had an impact on a student’s life. I call these your Booyah Moments. For when you say “Booyah!” You know?
Have you had that moment yet? Will you share it with us? Some of us are in dire need of that kind of mojo, so even if you aren’t, please share in the comments below so that we can share in the glow of your Awesome. Cosmic. Power.
For me, the most satisfying Booyah Moment came several years into teaching. Being a Spanish teacher for grades 1-12, I had the sometimes-pleasure of watching my students grow over the course of several years. I had a student who started with me when he was in the 3rd grade, and stayed in my class every year thereafter. I would like to say that I liked all of my students equally, but I’m human, too, and there was a student about whom I just did not find a lot to like. He was often mean to the other students, he was disrespectful in class, and he pushed back on EVERY. THING. All the Things. I got grief about everything, every assignment, even the games and the fun activities! I did my best, man, but you know what they say about leading a horse to water.
Time passed, and this student went on to a different high school. Not long into the next school year, I got an e-mail that I hope to someday frame, or tattoo onto my forehead for the world to see, or something like that:
“I just wanted to say thank you. You have done so much for me! I admit that I took for granted all that you taught me. I started in regular Spanish class and they’ve already moved me to Honors Spanish 1. I’m getting good grades and the teacher is impressed with how much I know. I’m so sorry that I didn’t take your class as seriously as I should have, because now I realize how much I learned. I’m really going to miss you.”