April 28, 2009

Why I'm a Teacher

Yesterday, I had a "warm fuzzy" moment. I was leaving school for the day when I walked past a student sitting in the hallway. This girl is not one of my students. In fact, she's not even on my team, but I have gotten to know her pretty well because she hangs out in my classroom often. I've learned from my co-workers that this has a history of being the center of girl drama, but she has never once created any problems for me.

Last week, in fact, I wrote this girl up for a "positive referral" because she went out of her way to comfort and stand up for one of my students who was being bullied. I was so touched by her show of empathy and encouragement, that I sent a letter to the front office explaining her behavior. I was happy to refer her because I knew this was a student who needed some positive feedback. She was pleasantly surprised when she was called to the office to be rewarded for her actions. Her mom even put my note on the refrigerator!

When I passed this girl yesterday, I noticed that she was working on her poetry anthology, and she immediately volutneered to show me her work. She was so proud of each page and eagerly explained her topics and photos. Then, she excitedly flipped to the front of her book to read me her dedication. She had dedicated her entire anthology to me, saying how she appreciates that she's been able to come talk to me about any of her feelings.

I cannot explain how touched I was to read that dedication. I don't know if I ever would have seen it had I not crossed her path on my way out of the building, but I am so glad I did! This is why I wanted to be a teacher, to build relationships and to be a mentor to my students. How heart-warming it is to realize that I've been able to make a difference to even one child!

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