This Parent’s Email Made My Week
And I Don’t Even Teach His Child
Last week was a rough one.
Nothing in particular made it so rough. It just was. It was the kind of week that made me want to get my purse and jump out the window…from my second-floor classroom…during the school day. My teacher friend one room over says she knows I’ve really been pushed to the edge when I use the words purse and window in the same sentence.
On Friday evening, exhausted and weary, I gave my school email one last check. I saw I had a reply to the parent email I sent on Friday. The email included a last name I didn’t quite recognize, but I didn’t think too much of it since I teach 140 or so students each semester and have many names in my parent contact files for the weekly parent email I send.
You must have my email by mistake. My kids are not in Spanish class. In fact, I’ve never heard of ******* Middle School.
If you wouldn’t mind, please remove me from your list. But, by the way, you seem like you are doing a wonderful job. I wish more teachers were as proactive, engaged, and communicative as you. I am sure you are making a real difference for these kids.
This parent email, friends, made my whole day. It made my whole week. Those last three sentences trumped all other sentences – from air, from screen, and from paper – from all the other days. As a teacher, I often feel this overwhelming desperation for someone to tell me I am doing something right. Of course, no one seems to think twice to tell a teacher (or anyone in any field of work) what he/she is doing wrong, these days. But how often do I – or do you – go out of the way to type a few kind words to someone in regards to his/her professional efforts?
No, this man does not know my true teaching skill or ability. He doesn’t know if I know my forehead from my backside when it comes to teaching. But he acknowledged something that I and so many other teachers want to be remembered for regardless of our students’ test scores, data reports, or evaluations.
An average-size word with a large strength.
Don’t we all appreciate recognition for how hard we try at something regardless of the final outcome?
I’m always quick to praise other teachers for their efforts as I know how much heart, soul, time, and energy is involved in the teacher role. However, I realize that I don’t go out of my way nearly enough to acknowledge the efforts of people working other professions and jobs as life swirls around me. And I should start. Really, I should.
After all, isn’t a little effort supposed to go a long way?
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