A lot has happened in the past few days. President Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage, Tyler finished his final class at UTSA, my students took my Biology end of course (EOC) exam, and we went to a great restaurant.
I don’t think I’ll get to all that in this post. Let’s take one thing at a time.
Today honestly felt like nothing I have ever experienced before. Watching my students take the EOC test was a moment that made me understand a little bit what parents probably feel towards their children–an overwhelming sense of pride. I saw them open up their test books, I saw them underline, highlight, star, cross off answers…use all the techniques I taught them. I saw them pick the right answers, I saw them get confused and pick the wrong answer. But they worked so hard, and I just couldn’t help the smile plastered on my face for the first 30 minutes of class.
One student in particular, B, came to my tutoring since…February. Any time I had tutoring, she’d be there. During school, after school, heck, even once before school I think. And I was lucky enough to be testing with her today. I feel an unexpected attachment to her and a deep investment in how she did on the test. Just watching her circle the word transcription and write DNA –> mRNA on the paper was just enough to make me understand…remember, realize, why I did Teach For America. I taught her that. I did! Not any random thing, but me…up in the front of a class, coming up with lessons, teaching the general and nuances. Isn’t that amazing to think about? If I didn’t teach it, they didn’t learn it. Sometimes the weight of responsibility becomes all too apparent. I am so proud to have been able to be her teacher, and well, a teacher to all my students–even the ones that make me want to tear my hair out.
There is an indescribable value to having good teachers in this world. Am I the best teacher? By far and away no. But I care about my students, invest time and effort, and if I were staying in the profession, I might I would get there. I hope that something can happen soon in terms of education reform to make it possible for all students to receive an equal and fair education by well trained teachers implementing best practices.
Either way, today has made me thankful, proud, and happy. I feel like I have accomplished something, even just a little.