Craziness, right? So, why do I teach?
Seniors' last day was today. I received a picture from a student I had in 7th and 9th grade. She wrote on it: "Mrs Gleghorn, Thank you again for that letter of recommendation. You supported me even after having your class. You are willing to do a little extra for those who ask and I appreciate that. You're one of the best teachers I've had!"
Also received a picture from another student I had last year, who was well behaved but quiet, and has steadily read his way through my classroom bookshelf throughout the past two years. He wrote on the back (in extremely small print...don't know how he did it): "Mrs. Gleghorn, I have many reasons to thank you. First, thank you for being the best teacher ever. Second, thank you for making me pick up reading again. You introduced me to so many books like The Fault in Our Stars, The Great Gatsby, and Miss Peregrine's. Also, thank you for making me want to write again. I am currently working on a novel that I started after having a talk with you about writing. I guess I should thank you for encouraging me to take AP Comp. It may have been the most stress inducing class ever, but I learned some valuable skills that I will be able to use in the future. If there is anything else I have forgotten about, thanks for that too."
Looking back at my own special teachers, the quote that springs to mind is one of the Maya Angelou's, who passed away this morning at age 86: People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
What more can I ask for than that? That I inspired a student, the same as the teachers before inspired me. The subject may no longer matter five, ten, fifteen years down the road...and maybe not even the exact lessons learned. But that inspiration is priceless. It's what carries people into their future endeavors and pushes them to impact their own world in return.
This is why I teach.