One of the things that is hard about being a teacher, is that sometimes you don't get to see the affects of your labor. Then, there are other times when I am blown away by a child's progress. I am frequently given challenging students each year, because I love working with them, and make some good progress usually. Two of my kids this year, T and L, have presented many of the typical challenges. They came from a very weak teacher, so I also have a lot of habits to "undo." I have worked hard. I've seen growth, but yesterday was AWESOME.
L was working. L and I have had some battle of the wills competitions. Poor L doesn't realize how stubborn and patient I can be. I've seen a lot of progress from her, but she still has these moments where I feel like we are back at square one. L sits by herself, because she really needs it! I was checking on her progress with her writing portfolio, and she says to me, "Mrs. F, I really like working hard!" This comment was completely out of the blue. There was no "reward" coming up or anything...I really think she actually meant it.
Friday afternoon, I am trying to finish their weekly behavior/academic progress reports. There is about ten minutes left in the day, so I am in my usual rush. T was one of the last ones I did. I handed him his report, and told him to have a good weekend. He handed it back to me and said, "Mrs. F, this isn't right. I don't remember what day it was this week, but remember when I wasn't being respectful to you?" He tells me this after he had just lost recess, and spent the entire time outside "walking the yellow line." I told him how much I appreciated his honesty.