This is my seventh year as a high school teacher and even though I have spent most of those years contemplating a career switch, I keep coming back. There is something about spending my days with teenagers that I find fascinating.
Last week one of my former sophmores (he is now a junior) proudly walked into my class and declared "You changed my life, Ms. B!" I was surprised by his declaration--I have heard "I love your class" or "You're a great teacher," but this is a much more powerful statement.
I was curious what about what I had done to change his life--expecting to hear about the wonders of world history. Instead, he told me about all the little tips and strategies I was always talking about. He mentioned goal-setting, creating good habits, procrastination, working smarter and not harder and other non-social studies topics. (Topics I am always referring to on this blog)
He went on to relate that over the summer he kept thinking about all the different ideas and he decided that he needed to grow up and take more responsibility for his actions. He proudly related that he now has a 4.0 and feels fantastic about school and he is finally excited for his future.
It is very difficult to measure success as a teacher and so this one happily delivered statement gives me some indication that what I have done matters--and that feels great.