2016 Gratitude 3: Former Students

I was a teacher. I like to think I was a good one. I spent almost a decade within the public school system before striking out on my own as a private tutor for almost another decade. There are plenty of things I don’t miss about being a teacher. It’s exhausting work that consumed my time and my heart, leaving very little of either for myself or my family. It’s frustrating work, full of road blocks and red tape. I’m a healthier person in many ways now that I’m doing other things.

That being said… I miss my students so much! There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of at least one of “my” kids and wonder how they are doing now.

The ones who came hungry and tired and still tried to learn to multiply fractions…

The ones who came scared and hurt and still willing to to put their trust in me…

The ones who came angry and disillusioned and still open to the power of a hug, a handshake or a high five…

My heart has broken for so many children.

The ones who came full of hope and joy and refused to let the world put out their light…

The ones who came with their arms wide open and spread love like confetti…

The ones who came dancing to the beat of their own drum and taught the rest of us to hear the rhythm…

My heart has been rebuilt by so many children.

I have the extreme blessing of continued contact with some of my former students. They are studying and working and creating new families and doing good for the world, each in their own way. And every once in a while, one of them will contact me to share news of their progress or tell me something important about themselves or ask me for advice. The fact that they think of me in their big moments never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

There are plenty of things I don’t miss about teaching, but I miss every single one of my students. Every second of frustration and exhaustion was worth the time I spent with them. Today’s gratitude is my former students and all they taught me.

Gratitude Song List: Counting Crows’ Time and Time Again

I wanted to see you walking backwards

to get the sensation of you coming home.

I wanted to see you walking away from me

without the sensation of your leaving me alone.

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