Why we do it

I was having a sort of crappy day. My students were bugging me. I was teaching my last new topic (of the year) that paralleled what they learned yesterday. It’s a cool thing that the sum of an infinite geometric series can converge on a particular number instead of go off into never-never land (infinity). Pretty cool stuff! (Well… relatively speaking…)

Instead of being able to listen and learn, my kids were whiny and needy and trying to take advantage of my niceness. So I turned into the crabby teacher. I don’t like Crabby teacher. Crabby teacher points out when they’re not listening and lets them know that she’s not going to feel sorry for them when they whine that they don’t get it because they weren’t paying attention anyway. When they ask to go to the bathroom with 15 minutes left of class, Crabby says something about being 17 years old and able to hold it at this age. Even the non-whiners were getting fed up with the others. Somehow I got through the material and they realized that it was easier than yesterday’s homework. Hmm, it’s amazing what you can do when you actually try. (Yes, you can read that dripping with sarcasm.)

Tomorrow is the last day for seniors. At the end of the hour, my one senior was motioning to hand to turn in his book. He had stayed after the last couple of days to try to get his grade up. He’s a super nice kid, but math just isn’t his thing. He does eventually get it. It just takes him much longer. The catch? My class is the one class that he needed to pass to graduate. When they handed out caps and gowns a week ago, we were still in limbo. But yesterday he made it over the threshold. I told him that as long as he did his assignment from yesterday and turned it in, he would pass.

Staying after to help kids is just part of the job. I’m there anyway. If they want to sit and do their homework, it’s fine with me. When they show up and put in that extra effort, I’m more than willing to help.

So back to the story… when the senior left class today, he handed me an envelope. I said, “Thanks” and did a little celebration squeeze of his shoulder and said, “you got it.”

After school I opened up the envelope and this is what I found.


You never really expect these. But when you get them, Crabby teacher disappears and you remember why you do it.


One Response to “Why we do it”

  1. samjshah Says:

    Wow. That’s powerful. Thanks for sharing. Even though it happened to you, it keeps me motivated to get through the end of the year in style too.

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