From 8 years ago. Teaching on the coldest day of my life. A new semester.
“I felt a great pride and joy in teaching today, in super crazy conditions of cold, with kids so happy to see each other again after tense finals, with kids who thanked me for simple CRACKERS for gosh sakes, since it was bitterly cold–a record cold. I told them I cannot give them warmth, but I had crackers and as the calories churned, they’d feel better so could we stop complaining about the cold and pretend we are warmer with the carbs and move on and I knew they were too old to bribe them with simple crackers being nearly adults and all…but it worked.
I think that simple act of acknowledging their discomfort helped a lot. I also told them I love students more than trees, after a girl asked if there was anything I loved more than trees. Students, I said, I love my students more than trees, and you know how I fee about trees.
And the crying girl in the back of the room who talked to me after class, who sobbed and an and by the time I called her mom her mom had called me to thank me for calming her seventeen year old baby girl down and caring enough to take the time to make some calls on her behalf, even though it was so cold outside and thank you for the crackers gesture, the mom said. It meant something to her sad girl.
And this is why I teach. The connection with others, the hope for the future. Great kids. Goofy, smart, immature, mature, teens. Love them.
When I am not bashing my head into a wall screaming. “
Thanks for reading.
Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltine_cracker