So for a little while, I’ve been following this fantastic blogger (and I now own a couple of her books) named Holley Gerth. She’s another one of those who writes into my heart.
She’s started “Coffee For Your Heart,” which allows those what want to join in a chance to be encouraging (with prompts she sends out) every Wednesday, whether through their blog, their Facebook, or a Tweet.
So today’s prompt is simply “You’re Loved.”
I’ve decided to write a letter to all my students. I understand that they won’t see it, but I find that when I really focus on the reason that I keep teaching, even on the hard days, it makes me better at what I do, and that helps me encourage my students by extension.
So here it goes.
I want you to know that the reason I drag my butt out of bed on weekday mornings is not just because I have to and because they pay me to. I do it because you make me laugh with your antics, with the way you see things, and with the things you say. It’s because I’m not succeeding unless you’re succeeding, and so neither of us can succeed if I’m not there. It’s because when I see you finally get something that you’ve been struggling with, your persistence makes me beam with pride. It’s because I’m watching you grow up before my very eyes, and I’m so proud of the people you’ll become some day. You’ve all got potential to be someone amazing, and I truly hope that each one of you harnesses that potential and soars.
Some days it may not seem like I love you that much. You see, sometimes love from a teacher looks tough. Sometimes I say no to things you really want, or I make you do things you really don’t want to do. Whether you’re 6, 10, or 14, I promise I’m doing my best to make decisions that are best for you, even if they seem like I’m out to make you miserable.
Sometimes you may think my rules are stupid, but they’re there to keep you safe. Like this morning in gym when I said we’re going to do a relay where we have to hold hands, and so I said NO RUNNING because when we run holding hands, it’s really really dangerous and we can fall and hurt ourselves… I was doing it not because it’s less fun to walk, but because I didn’t want you to get hurt. It nearly broke my heart when one of you wiped out and bumped your head, and that’s why I ran to you to help you up and scooped you up to get you some ice.
I want you to know that the reason I’m there every day is so I can teach you about more than just what’s in the books. I want to teach you how to handle conflict. I want to teach you how to get along with each other, even if you don’t like each other. I want to teach you how to be kind to one another, show compassion, and to accept people’s differences so that we can all live together peacefully. I know these are lofty goals, but if I can be an influence in even one of your precious lives, and make an impact that years from now makes you remember me and smile, I’ll know I’ve done my job. I’ll know I’ve done it very well if you can remember me and smile, and then remember an important lesson that I taught you. Hopefully it’ll have nothing to do with curriculum.
Kiddos, I know this has been sappy, but I have to tell you… that even when you’re challenging to teach, I still love you. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have a job to do at all, but you certainly keep it interesting. Keep it up.