Yesterday I asked my students if they’d be willing to come in for an extra hour when my parents are in town to reprise their recital songs for them. I told them it wasn’t mandatory, but it would mean a lot to me. Many of them agreed, and one even wrote:
“I am willing to do it. You work hard for all of us, and I want to show them how amazing of a teacher you are!”
And later another student wrote me:
“I feel like sometimes I don’t say thank you enough for what you do. I truly appreciate it. I would not be where I am without your guidance and influence. You have taught me so much. You make me better. Thank you.”
I love what I do. I feel like I’ve put all the energy I used to put into changing the world into changing a little part of it. I never thought I’d enjoy teaching, initially only planning to do it for a semester or two to help out a handful of particularly passionate kids.
Then it turned out I was besieged by passionate kids. And I use the words “kids” lightly — most of them are responsible, hard-working, and pick up on things faster than most adults I know. They make me want to work hard for them, because they make good use of my efforts. They improve so fast, and seeing the absolute joy those improvements bring to their lives fills me with a sense of purpose I’ve never experienced.
I don’t believe in magic, but I feel like this is as close to it as the laws of physics allow. This is why I put in all the extra time — because it makes me feel so good.
I’ve never tried to make my students like me, as I must always be their teacher first. But it’s still good to know when they’re grateful for the extra work I put in with them or when they look upon me favorably.
And now I must cut this post short as I have something in my eye…