Learning Lessons from Students: Gratitude


This week was just one of those weeks. You know them, you know them well. I can't pinpoint what caused it, but I tend to believe that if a week starts out being kind of blah, the rest of the week feels that way too. I woke up Monday morning with a cold. Nothing serious, but enough to make me feel like I had that "film" over me all day. By Wednesday, it had gotten better. But every day this week I felt like I couldn't keep up, didn't have enough time, or was jumping through hoops for students, parents, coworkers and situations. On Tuesday night, I didn't leave school until 7pm because I was just doing little things. Since I don't have my own classroom, every now and then I get down about that too. I am a ball of energy and ideas and sometimes I feel like I have to limit what I do or create, because at the end of the day, I am still following someone else's program and I would never want to disrespect that. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to have these temporary jobs and learn from them, but sometimes I do let it get the best of me and I wish for my own job where I could start from scratch and make it my own. So this week I was also having a case of jealousy. By the time I got home on Tuesday night I was just plain crabby. If you know me, you know crabby isn't me. It takes a lot for me to be in a bad mood or crabby, but I was.

Then, on Wednesday, something happened. My class and I had signed up for the Scholastic Taylor Swift Podcast about reading. If you missed it, Taylor Swift drove home the fact that she had to know how to read and write to become who she is today. After the Podcast, I had my class do a short writing response about what they wanted to be when they grew up and why reading and writing would be important for that particular job. As most of my students started writing, one of my students with autism was nearly rubbing his eyeballs out. He was holding back tears,
and when we took a walk outside the classroom to find out why, he unraveled. He said "You make it sound so easy to get a job someday! And what if I can't? What if I can't get a job because nobody will want me or like my ideas?" I was shocked. As he continued to unravel, I discovered that he was not just worried about getting a job, he was worried about being accepted in the world altogether. I realized that even at the age of 10, children have fears that adults have. I sat down with him and I asked him if he wanted to know a secret about Miss Eager. When he said yes, I told him that I don't have a job yet, and that every year I have to worry about what school I will work in. I told him how I have two jobs, and I work at a restaurant too. And that sometimes people have to have two or three jobs. His mouth dropped. We sat outside my classroom for 20 minutes until he was able to reassure himself that life would turn out okay, and that he would find a place that he belongs. 

After school that day, I realized that this was a conversation that I needed just as much as he did. He reminded me that every day may not feel good or be good, but something good happens every day. Sometimes it is so easy to take what we have for granted as adults. It's easy to compare ourselves and wish for what we don't have yet. It's easy to let the monotony of our daily lives make us feel like we aren't living right. It's easy to forget that the monotony of our lives, is the jackpot that some people are praying for.

10 comments

  1. Thanks Sally, I needed that too. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing such a touching lesson we all need to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love a teacher who learns as much if not more than she teaches. You are an extra compassionate person and I know how that young student feels. Being an adult to me didn't change or end my fears, it just meant I may have learned some skills to deal with them better now. Your skills gave your student a new perspective to help him through & his youthful honesty helped remind you of that skill. Thank you for sharing this story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a wonderful story - thanks for sharing it! Your student will remember that conversation for a long time, I'm sure.

    Kara
    Spedventures

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow- powerful story. Thanks for sharing.

    He is oh so right!

    Always A Lesson

    ReplyDelete
  6. I feel like I had one of those weeks last week too. Here's to a great week starting TOMORROW! :) Sounds like you had a great conversation with that student - thanks for sharing.

    P.S. I love Taylor Swift! Also, a new follower of yours :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What great story! Thanks for sharing. I'm a fellow special education teacher and started following your blog!

    ?Resource Room Rules

    ReplyDelete
  8. This blog is really informative for students who learn online. Thanks for sharing information with us regarding Assignment Solutions Online keep continue.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this quote! It is so true how even a little smile or conversation with a child can brighten even the bleekest of days! Thanks for sharing :)

    http://fantastic5thgrade.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

Back to Top