The other day, my son dragged me to the mall. As we walked into American Eagle, I heard my name, “Mrs.Small”. I turned and there was Charles. No longer the 5th grade boy who , for a while, fought me at every turn, but a 17 year old young man, who still hadn’t lost that mischievous smile. Not many teachers liked Charles, and they couldn’t understand why I liked him. He could be obstinate, sometimes, downright disrespectful. But I saw the sweet Charles, the bright, hard-working Charles, and I nurtured him like all my other students. He’s in high school focusing on design. He grinned and said, “On Monday, we go to school and get flowers and we’re allowed to bring them to our favorite teacher, but I can’t bring them to you, because I won’t be at school.” He told me about an upcoming show at his school, where his designs would be showcased. It was wonderful to see him, and know he was doing well.
The next day, Charles was at my school with a ticket for me. He wanted me to attend his show. Of course, I’ll be there to support Charles, my reminder of why we do what we do, teach.