Sometimes people seem to know just what you need.
As you may have guessed from my posts the past few weeks, I have been in something of a slump. I've been homesick and frustrated with myself and the way things are going at school. Things have happened that have even caused me to doubt myself and whether I should continue teaching.
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to go home to New Orleans for the Thanksgiving holiday. I got to see my friends, spend time with my family, start Christmas shopping at my favorite local boutiques, and relax. One highlight of my trip was a coffee date with two colleagues and good friends from my last school. One of them, who teaches 4th and 5th grade - and consequently my former students - does a Thanksgiving project each year. She asks her kiddos to choose a staff member from our school for whom they are thankful and write a letter to them explaining why.
Last year, I received letters from a handful of children. They were wonderful. This year, I received more. These letters basically saved me from self-doubt and reminded me that, regardless of the day-to-day grind, what I am doing matters to the students I have.
A sampling from the 14 letters I received:
Thank you for all of the things you've taught me. You have been so nice to everyone, and you have always made sure that people can learn and catch up on things that they need to learn, but haven't.
I am thankful for having you as a teacher. I like your funnyness. I also like you fun projects! Finally I like that you have a big smile.
You would always make me feel better when I was feeling bad.
You are my favorite teacher because you always made me happy by caring about people. I could never imagine someone not liking you. In second grade I didn't know much about S.S. and in fourth grade I know evrything because you taught it to me.
I want to thank you for teaching me multiplication and for being a great teacher! Also I appriciate that when I finished one of my multiplication tests, you gave me a high-five. That made me feel really good.
You were a totaly awsome, funny, nice, cool teacher. You made that year awsome, thank you.
I am thankful for the fun we had in class. Your laugh is like a cool brees (yes, spelled like Drew Brees! highlight!) on a hot day. I miss you so much!
I have a subject and predicate test today, and I would fail it if you hadn't taught me all about subjects and predicates.
Thanks for being my teacher. The book discussions were unbeatable!
You are still my favorite teacher, because you make someone feel good in side.
I hope you stay awesome. I hope you have a great time in North Carolina.
We started learning a ton of new things in third grade, and nobody could've taught it better than you.
I remember when I was in your class. You taught me most of the things I know today. In your class I was sad at 3:15. All good things have to come to an end though, right?
I hope everything's fine in N. Carolina. Are you teaching? I hope peeps are lucky enough to have you in 3rd grade.
I am so thankful to have wonderful children to teach who build me up and teach me every day. And I am especially thankful for my colleague who made sure her kids show their appreciation.
As we go into the holidays, I am trying to remember every day to be positive and remember why I do what I do.
And it has nothing to do with test scores, reading levels, or state standards. Happy Sunday.