Teaching Tree Hugging

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 06 2008

Appreciation has no expiration date

In addition to my last post, I just wanted to add how wonderful it feels to be appreciated as a teacher. I knew going into this that I wasn’t going to be necessarily thanked by my students, and that I had to overlook some of the struggles I went through last year knowing that teenagers are complicated and show emotions strangely. I knew I would be rejected by some and braced myself for the struggles. But reading the 8th grade student surveys about who their favorite teacher was last year put a smile on my face that will hopefully carry me through any hard times I have this coming year. One student wrote that I was her favorite because “she worked us hard because she knew we could do it”. Others talked about my energy or how I made learning exciting. Even some of the students that gave me the biggest headaches mentioned me. So beyond my quantitative scores of mastery last year that helped me admit to myself that I brought them to the big goal (even though sometimes I felt as if I was failing), these surveys provided me written proof that yes, I did some good last year. Even when I was feeling up against a wall with other teachers offering prizes and money to their students for getting good grades, now I know I was right in my heart to stick to the intrinsic rewards of pride in one’s work and success in science.

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