As I left my previous position in June of this year, I received a card during a surprise going away party from my colleagues in our little windowless cafeteria in the basement of our school. The card had many heartfelt and touching words from people I had built a professional livelihood with for two years. One singular note from a friend and colleague permeated my mind, and will continue to drive my teaching for the rest of my life: “The kids are better people because of you.”
I did not expect that. I hadn’t evaluated myself that way before.
I do not think about how my actions, the energy lying beneath the words I say, and the way teaching has a unique impact on my students could make them better people. But it does. I don’t think I could accomplish anything more important than that.
Here’s to another year of pushing, inspiring, and changing.