I was reminded yesterday how special it is to have you in my classes. There I was, sharing information I thought was interesting, trying to explain the concepts involved to, what seemed like a room full of very bored, very distracted students.
Some were just too busy with their cell phones (cleverly hidden under the desk, or behind their backpacks) to care what I was saying. Others were locked in fascinating conversations with each other, either out loud or on paper (cleverly passed back and forth when I wasn't looking).
Sure, there were the "eye-rollers" too. Those are fun. I guess they don't realize that I am not trying to keep them from their more important activities outside of the classroom...I'm just trying to concentrate and give them the best chance of understanding the information they need from my class.
Now, to be fair, a few were listening. They looked at me, read what was on the board, even took a few notes. I appreciate them. I appreciate them so much that I give them extra points at the end of the semester. Look at me while I am talking to you and you can not fail my class, I won't let you.
About a year ago I was so distressed by the fact that most of my students don't seem to like me (yes...I take it personally, even though I know that 90% of the time it is not) that I was seriously contemplating dropping the whole teaching gig.
Then I remembered the incredible amount of time off I am afforded and decided I could put up with almost anything. It's a good trade off. I also realized that I can't possibly reach everyone in the class....not even 50%...not even 25%. In reality, I am speaking to 10 to 15% of the room. I may be under-estimating...but I am afraid that is the truth.
Then there is you.
You never nod off. You never text. You never look bored, in fact, if I didn't know better, you look like you are fascinated by every thought I share. You care what I am saying. When I stumble, or mis-speak, your smile is so encouraging. You've given me so many "breaks." Just having you there seems to make it all worthwhile. It re-energizes me; helps me to feel like I am there for a reason, that what I am doing is important, whether parts of it are boring or not.
So I just want to say "thank you". You being with me gives me the joy I've always wanted to feel in my work. You know, without you I don't think I could do it. In fact,
I'm sure of it.
"Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people." Colossians 3:23
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Jesus) Matthew 28:20