My Students Inspire Me

I’ve been feeling low and confused lately. Perhaps it’s associated with post-travel adjustments, and I know some of it is connected to my distorted levels of empathy. I feel people’s pain more than I probably should, and I constantly have to keep my emotions in check in order to not be bogged down by the sadness in our world. Thankfully I have a supportive tribe, people who lift me up when I don’t have the strength to lift myself up, and I know my Truth holds me together.

However, I must share some of the writing I’ve received from some former students within these last few weeks. I am forever changed by these young adults, and I am affirmed over and over and over again in my career choice and my lifestyle as I connect and reconnect with them.

One bright, funny, articulate, genuine, brilliant young woman wrote:

“I know you said that I was the one who impacted you, but truly it was the other way around. For the rest of my life, when I am faced with a challenge, I will remember the courage you showed your first year of teaching by trying new things. Whenever I make a mistake, I will remind myself that it is not the end of the world, because you are the one who instilled in me the idea that life is about making mistakes and growing from them. There is not a single doubt in my mind that for all the years you will teach, each year there will be new children moving on to the high school who were changed by you and your lust for life. Those children will go on to be kind and innovative members of society, because they will have been touched by the way you taught them, and the respect you showed them.

There is nothing I could give you in exchange for what you gave me, which was one of the greatest years of my life.  If anyone was destined to pass on knowledge to children and shape the very course of their lives, it’s you.”
Seriously, I will never be the same after reading those words. How many other jobs enable people to receive that level of pure love and kindness? My faith in humanity is restored every time I step foot in my classroom, every time a student helps another, every time I see the way my students love life. They are going to change this world. I can’t wait to see how they use their skills and talents, personalities and weaknesses, to shape us into a better humanity.
Another brilliant, strong, passionate, authentic, kind, caring student expressed:
“I’ve decided that moments and actions come in two different kinds; time passers and heart fillers. Most of our actions unfortunately seem to be time passers, moments which come and go without making a difference or effect in our lives. But heart fillers, the essence and fruit of life, those are the moments which become our passions, meaning, and joy. Whenever I feel lost or broken, I focus on the heart fillers and that’s how I can focus myself and stay positive in the pursuit of more. I’m positive you have a plethora of heart fillers and don’t ever forget that.”
I am blessed beyond measure. Beauty will follow these young adults the way the ocean returns to the shore. I am eager to see what the future holds for them.
Inspire means “to make someone want to do something.” I want to be the best version of myself because I’m inspired by the words and actions of my past, present, and future students.
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