Monday, December 14, 2009

Love / Hate Relationship

One of the things I love most about teaching is seeing students succeed. One of the things I hate most about teaching is seeing students fail -- especially when they are their own worst enemy.

We are in final exam week and the penitent sinners are coming out of the woodwork. Never mind that emails have been sent, warning letters, and personal conversations have been completed. Never mind that the grades are online and are viewable at any time, day or night. Exam week is when that F becomes real and students begin to dread getting asked by their parents, "How'd you do?"

A few years ago I had a remarkable young man. Micah laid out. He missed tests. He came to class and slept. He was completely uninvolved. So, at mid-term it was obvious he was going to fail. There was no rescuing him. We had a little conversation that went a long the lines of, "drop the class; but if you want to prove to yourself that you can change, keep coming, take the tests, and show yourself that you can do it even if you don't earn a grade."

He never missed another class or assignment.

He retook the class and earned an A.

He transferred to Virginia Tech on a full scholarship and will be an accountant in May.

I am proud of him. I love him.

So, today, when I answer those emails of "Please, Ms. H, I HAVE to pass this class", I am remembering my little friend who nearly fell through the cracks. Tough love is tough. But it works.

Have I told you that I love teaching?


  1. Your students are so very blessed to have you :)


  2. You are a wise teacher!
    The kids are blessed to have someone who cares :)
    They will remember you because you honestly cared about them and taught them how to be proud of themselves. It's hard to remember these moments when not just the kids but the parents are saying you "have to pass them"....but that's what keeps us as teachers going, we KNOW we can make a difference in someone's life :)

  3. That would be hard, I hate taking test. I remember in high school I had a women’s history class. Each Friday you gave an oral report and took a test. Every week I got an A+ on the oral report and an F on the test. It was soooooooo frustrating. I guess I am not a test taker xoxoxo Clarice

  4. Kudos to you Matty, for being such a caring teacher! Wish that all teachers were like you. You did a very kind thing for Micah.


  5. Ditto - to what Jane wrote!! You sound like just the kind of teacher we all wanted for our kids.


  6. Sounds like your exactly where your called to be:-)


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!