cross-posted @ cheryloakes.com
It didn’t take me long to answer! It was about 7:45 AM on a weekday in a support study class. You can imagine the chaos that begins a school day for high school teens. A teacher orchestrating the group of students to help find some bit of school work for them to complete, while making a personal connection with each student, and encouraging independent work then beginning the cycle again.
This was just that sort of day. However, when he asked me that question, the room went silent. I didn’t hesitate, “My favorite part of my job is, years after meeting a student and working with a student, somehow over time, there is a huge reward, when I finally hear what the student has chosen for a school, college, job, family and place to live”, I said.
My student didn’t miss a beat and responded, “Oh, so you hate your job.” I began to protest, then I replied, “You asked me about my favorite part of the job, which is the surprise after all the waiting.”
I did not go on to say that I look forward to each day, that I reflect on my days and my meetings with students each week, as I learn something new to mention in my next meeting with a student. I did not go on to say that, I cherish the moments when a student gets a good grade after all the hard work. I cherish the teaching and the learning, especially when my students are teaching me and I am the learner. Everyday is worth it, but the surprise after waiting years is still the best.