Why I teach.

Today was a particularly difficult day from me as I had to say good-bye to the school and staff members I have grown so close to this year. It's been one of the harder things in my life I've had to go through, especially when I worked so hard to get there. And yet I have to just move in faith that there is someplace better I am supposed to be, without my knowing where that is right now. I'm wholeheartedly trusting God and His provision because it's been an emotional ride having to let go.

As much as I'm discouraged that I had to pack up my classroom and head out today, I would go through this every year if it meant I got to spend 9 months having the kinds of experiences with students I had this year. Here are a few highlights from my year, to give you a glimpse into why I teach.

I teach for L., who began the year unable to write straight. Who was unable to give a speech to the entire class or write longer than a paragraph. Who had Ds and Fs in his subjects, and who then raised his grades to As and Bs, wrote six page papers and gave a fully memorized, 8-minute speech to the whole class by May.

I teach for K., who had an attitude of unwillingness and apathy. Who wrote backwards and wouldn't read. Who gave a speech in front of the whole class, which is worlds away from the beginning of the year when she couldn't give a speech in front of just me.

I teach for J., who I know is going to be a future author someday. Who worked so hard and was so focused, always giving his best and always helping others whenever he could. I haven't met a more selfless student in a very long time.

I teach for S., who made me laugh every single day when he asked me (literally every day) if I liked Bruno Mars and whether I played "Just Dance" the night before.

I teach for A. and his brilliantness, recognizing that he is absolutely going to be a future leader someday (and I will vote for him!).

I teach for R. who worked so hard to grow into herself and really be confident in who she was; standing up for other students and not giving into the pressure to become like someone else. She knows who she is and is completely content with that.

I teach for K., who struggled at math for several months and finally grew after her confidence gained momentum. She worked hard, stuck with it, and improved her grade from an F to a B in three months.

I teach for A., who started showing up to class on time, turning her work in, coming to visit me and improved her grade substantially when I invested effort into her worth as a student.

I teach for N., who really came into his own by the end of the year. Who became well-liked by his peers and saw his confidence grow tremendously. Who figured out who he was and ran with it; who was transparent and honest, and took risks that paid off.

I teach for S., who started the year always making an entrance, and who progressed into a compassionate, empathetic and mature student who included everyone and offered sincere compliments to others whenever he could.

I teach for C., D., M., G., and K. and E., who always made me laugh with their silliness when the mood got too serious.

I teach for M., M., E., E., G., K., H., and R. who are compassionate, helpful, patient, inclusive students, who will make wonderful leaders someday in whatever field they pursue.

For these students and so, so, so, so many more: I teach. Every day. Even when it's hard, and even when it hurts. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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