The Highest Compliment
With only a few days to go before I end my public school teaching career, I have been caught off guard several times with the occasional tear leaking from my eye. In particular, I was having a discussion with an instructional assistant I work with, and he was telling me what some of the students have said about me.
The way he tells it, when he asked several students who their favorite teacher was, they said it was me. They also said that I was hard on them, but that they knew I was fair. The students also commented on the fact taht unlike some teachers, I not only criticized but praised (both in liberal amounts), and would, when need be, sit right next to a stsudent and help them out individually.
I had not expected this. Teaching is the kind of profession where one does not always feel any immediate sense of gratification. On the majority of days, I have wondered whether I even made any difference to anyone at all. Am I a good teacher? Am I doing the right things? Unlike some professions, teachers do not get immediate feedback from teh “clients” they serve.
I cannot say that these students comments make me at all regret my decision to go onto PhD, but I can say that at least now, I have some satisfaction that something I did worked.