Read a quick blog post in Humane Connection on the joy of doing good. Service to others is both a higher calling and a source of joy. So, it got me thinking about my work as a teacher. I get paid to help people, and for that I am blessed. I don’t just have a good job I have good work.
I feel true happiness when I work with students of all ages. I’m still working every day to be a better teacher and I have so much to learn. And, of course, not every moment is joyous. Last night I got an email from a student with a draft he wanted me to review before the essay due date 2 days later. This student had failed to show up for his individual writer’s conference last week where I could have given him individual attention. When he saw me later that day, he promised to send a second draft over the weekend for review but he didn’t. The draft he had originally given me missed key aspects of the assignment, despite a detailed rubric and several class discussions and workshops. I made detailed notes on that original draft. Still, what he emailed me yesterday was an inadequate response to the assignment. I was angry, frustrated; I felt like a failure, and like he was. In short, no joy. Then, I took a deep breathe, reminded myself that my goal in teaching this class is to support students in improving their academic writing skills, and carefully read the draft. I wrote half a page of notes and emailed it back to him as quickly as I could so he would have more time to revise. In the end, it wasn’t exactly joy, but I felt at least as if I had done my job. And, I love my job.
I am thankful that I get to earn my living as a teacher, doing work I love, despite the attendant frustrations.
Read a slice of other teachers' lives at the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.