Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brings Me to Tears!

I have always enjoyed getting cards and notes from former students.  I have kept each and every card, letter, graduation or wedding invitation I have ever received from my former "kids."  One cherished letter I received a couple of years ago, I keep close at hand so I am can read it when I am feeling down and wondering if I am making any difference in my students' lives.  This particular child was placed in my classroom several years ago right after the Thanksgiving break.  He had always been an extremely difficult child and that year was no different.  He was so misbehaved for his 4th grade teacher that he was taken out of her classroom and placed into mine.  Although at first, I thought this unfair to my other students and myself, I persevered.  I became attached to this child as I made him tow the line the rest of the year.  I found items he was interested in...mainly historical figures and worked with him on his social skills. I became so attached, I almost cried when he left the elementary school.  I couldn't help but worry if his teachers in the future would guide him and care enough to make sure he followed the straight and narrow.  A few years ago, when he was in high school, I received a letter in the mail from him.  He thanked me for all that I had done for him and wrote how much he appreciated that I had not given up on him.  I still cry every time I read that letter. (I am tearing up even now, and I am basically not a crier).  The really good news is that he graduated from high school and is a working, contributing member of society.  I am now able to keep up with him on facebook and am so proud of the man he has become and the relationships he has formed in his life.  
Well... a couple of months ago, a 5th grade teacher shared a paper one of her students, (my former student), had written this year.  At the first of the year my school emphasized "Future Stories."  These Future Stories were about thinking about what the future held and what each student could see themselves doing when they were grown.  This child wants to be a teacher when she grows up.  Once again, my heart melted when I read the words on this student's paper and was reminded of why I teach. It was just a brief little paragraph but, that's all we need sometimes to light a fire under us and motivate us to do whatever we can to help our kids. 

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