Earlier this week, I distributed an end-of-year science questionnaire to my students. Tomorrow is our last official day of school and we (students, teachers, and admin alike) are all excited about it. Despite the fact that we have a two-week respite before we start out our new year in August, I look forward to de-stressing, spending time with family and friends, and having an opportunity to recharge and get re-inspired.
Anyways, I wanted to share one particular student response from the science questionnaire. Here’s some background: the student who wrote this response was someone I initially did not get along with in the beginning of the year. We clashed a lot, and it was very hard for me personally to not become engaged in power struggles with her. Throughout the year, I worked hard to connect with her and we have gotten to know each other enough that we were no longer pushing each other’s buttons. We were at a good stage in our relationship, but still, I did not expect this response at all from her.
Tell me about a time in my class when you felt respected.
I felt respected whenever you told me to keep up the good work. I look up to you, so when you tell me that I am doing the right thing, I feel special. I love you the most!
Okay, I’ll admit it… I cried when I got home. It has been such a long, tough, and horrible year of teaching where so many things have gone wrong—but that short note— that little message? Suddenly, it was all worth it. It was affirmation that I was on the right path and that all my hard work and effort really did make a difference. It was a good way to end my first year of teaching.