Even if it is for one student per class, or even one student all year long, that one student I connect with, the one student who gets it, tries hard, is respectful, learns, then my whole job that year, my whole career, is validated and becomes worth it all! There are so many students that education is lost on, whether because they don’t care, don’t respect themselves or anyone else, have already decided they will be a welfare case, or have been so damaged by others or by nature that they have closed themselves off forever. But each year there is that one student that shines, that reminds me not only that this job of teaching is worthwhile, but that if I make the difference in one student’s life, then I can rest assured it is an important job, useful, and a real privilege.
Each year I have at least one student come back to visit me and remind me how I have changed their life, taught them a life lesson, and that they will never forget it and be better person for it. And that is always such a comfort for me to know that I have made a difference!