Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful-Day 27

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.


  1. The little frustrations of teaching are what make the joyful parts more so. Glad you could support the student, but it is frustrating when they don't make use of all the little helps available to them!

  2. I teach on the grad school level at night and have had this experience MANY MANY TIMES. It is SO hard to no feel responsible; however, I remind myself that sometimes we have to fail before we can be ready to work and learn.