Yesterday night, I saw a FB post by a friend about inspiration.
It made me really hope that I can inspire people in my life - students, family, friends, even strangers that I just do random acts of kindness toward.
A few minutes after I saw this and was thinking of how I hope I inspire people, I saw an email notification on my school email.
At first, I was going to ignore it since I don't like to do work emails on the weekend and it was around 11pm on a Friday night.
However, I saw the sender, and it was a student. I always look at those since there may be something wrong and I want to make sure the students are ok and don't need any help. It was from a student who has struggled at the school for three years. Had a child two years ago, didn't do too well last year, and at the start of this year, when she became one of my students, she was skipping school a lot.
The past few months, she has been on top of her game. She has turned in all of her work, some even early, and is passing the class. She also took part in the school's first open-mic night that I helped sponsor, and the school's first guitar concert where she played one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs ("Isn't She Lovely").
Yesterday morning, she came by my room before school and I told her how I had really loved her performance and told her the history of that song and why Stevie Wonder wrote it. I also told her how much I love that she is doing well in school at this point.
I was shocked to get an email from her so late, so immediately went to read it.
It almost made me cry.
I always try to greet the kids into my class with a smile and a warm welcome to Global or welcome to Social Studies or welcome to room 412 or some other happy welcome greeting. I don't ever really think about it making a difference, but I do love to see the kids smile back and some of them walk over to my door without a smile, but begin to smile or at least snicker at my giddiness when they see me and hear my greeting.
It is always hard as a teacher to realize when you make a difference in a child's life, but it feels great to know that it is so.
I guess I am an inspiration to some, just as I had hoped I was just a few minutes before seeing this email.
Makes me really love my job - especially in these last days as I have been stressed with end of year Regents Exam preparations.