The long days, and I’m sure the long nights, drag on. You think, “Why did I go to school for this? What’s the point? They’re still not getting it.” But believe me, we do. You know we do.
You stay up late grading, wishing you were watching your favorite show, or spending more time with your dog. You stay up late and you may be dreading the next day. But don’t.
You always seemed to go into the classroom with a smile on everyday without fail. You make someone laugh somehow, and one student may even fall out of her seat laughing because of some song you play while we’re working. You brave the hallways for a special reason: you believe in us.
Every student has a different story to tell, and the background features are always different. Some hoodlum has started a ruckus again, and someone else is not putting in the effort you know they can. You always know they can.
Everyday that same student comes in and out of your classroom. Without even truly having a long conversation, just watching them from across the room “working”, you know who they are. Inside and out; it never really changes much.
I’ll never forget the day two very important days. Two different times of the year. One: a fifteen year old girl fails yet another assignment, and you pull her into the hallway. You know how passionate she is about a game, and that failing will crush that dream to play if she continues the road she’s on. You tell her you know she can do it. There’s more than just sitting in a chair. Two: same girl, and you’ve been gone a day or two. The assignment that’s supposed to be done, not done. Take one look and say, “What did you do yesterday?” “I honestly don’t know.” “I do. Now sit down and get to work on it.”
The chances you’ve given so many others. The thousands of faces you’ve seen. Thousands just like me, though some are a little different. You know there’s more to us, and we can make a difference, even if it’s just in our own lives. So many times you’ve believed in one student, and so many times you’ve been right.
Five years later and you role right on through my work, “Are you gonna write a blog about this too?” You know it. Thoughts already brainstorming in my mind, remembering all the times you’ve believe in me, and so many others. So here’s to you. To all of you. To all of those who don’t just let a student role right on through your classroom without letting them know someone believes in them. Here’s to you who stay up every night thinking, “When will they get this? When will they realize there’s more to them? They have the potential, yet they don’t reach for it.” I thank you. It’s a thankless job, but I thank you. Thank you for each and every one of those long nights, and long days. You’re worth it. You’re worth it to students who are just like me. How I was. You truly do make a difference. And you’re right. So don’t you give up.