When it comes to students, I am a lucky teacher. The worst student I have could only be described as kind of annoying. So, I genuinely like the students I work with; a fact for which I am very grateful.
Sometimes, though, this gratefulness wells up inside of me and I feel awash with pride and love for my students. Today was one of those days.
It all started when I was eavesdropping on a group of students working through a close reading of a scene from Othello. These were not my top academic success stories, yet even though the text was difficult, they were persevering. It made me so happy to hear them discuss the scene in a serious way, piggybacking off of one another's ideas and making meaning of something that didn't come easily to them. This small scene made me realize how thankful I am that my students don't give up, that they trust in the process and know that it will be worth it in the end.
A little later, we got out our Writer's Notebooks. We discussed a prompt and then all my students immediately got to work, heads bent, pens and pencils scratching across the page. And, I thought, it's such a simple thing, but I am so thankful that my students will do whatever I ask of them. That they come to class willing to commit and participate and be a true member of the class.
My kids didn't do anything extraordinary today, but I felt an extraordinary appreciation for them. Don't get me wrong, the extraordinary things are great, but they don't happen every day. It's these small things that sustain me for the long haul.