Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.
Sometimes when we get busy with our jobs it is hard to reflect and appreciate what we have and why we got into the field of education in the first place.
Yesterday I was reminded how thankful I am thankful to be an educator. I was standing watching my son play soccer lost in my own little world, just staring off into space when all of a sudden I heard, “Hey man, how’s it going?” I turned to see an outstretched hand and a big smile of a former student well on his way to becoming a man. I say student, but I never actually taught him. I was his vice principal in middle school and most of our interactions were due to poor decisions on his part. He was (and is) a really good kid, but there were times that school was not his favorite place to be and he struggled.
We stood and chatted for 45 minutes while my son played. He caught me up on his life, how he was doing in school and that for the first time he was focusing and getting his work done. He is heading to college and is going to get a trade, has a side job framing, races his dirt bike and just bought a truck. It was an easy and enjoyable conversation, not awkward and full of uncomfortable pauses. We talked about old teachers and shared a few laughs, I loved every minute of it. Seeing students grow up and becoming good people always makes me happy and proud. Not proud in a conceited way, but proud because in spite of flaws we have a predominately good system. Can we improve? We better, but we are doing good work. I worried that this student would graduate and he proved me wrong…good on him and good on his teachers.
Too often we get overwhelmed by business of our day and focus on things that don’t really matter. I am so thankful that I was reminded how lucky I am.